Pope Francis struggles to stand while addressing Vatican tribunal

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Pope Francis apologized to his faithful flock after his sciatica forced him to remain seated while addressing a Vatican City Catholic Church tribunal.

The 84-year-old Argentinian has been forced to cancel a number of recent events due to the nerve pain condition.

“I would like to speak to you standing up but sciatica is a troublesome guest,” the pontiff told members of the Roman Rota on Friday, according to Agence France-Presse.

“So I apologize and will speak sitting down,” he told members of the tribunal as he marked the start of the Holy See’s judicial year.

Francis skipped New Year’s Masses at St. Peter’s Basilica and two Masses earlier in the week due to a bout with the chronic condition that causes pain in his hip.

He postponed his New Year’s greeting to ambassadors Monday, but was able to lead a lunchtime Sunday prayer as scheduled.

In 2013, he told journalists that he had suffered a bout of sciatica after being elected head of the Catholic Church earlier that year.

“The worst thing that happened, excuse me, was an attack of sciatica, really, that I had the first month, because I was sitting in an armchair to do interviews and it hurt,” he said at the time, according to the French news agency.

“Sciatica is very painful, very painful. I don’t wish it on anyone.”

The pope walks with a slight limp as a result of the condition but is otherwise in good health.

His current medical flareup has raised questions about his planned March trip to Iraq.

He and his predecessor, Pope Benedict, received the coronavirus vaccine earlier this year.

With Post wires

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