Pope bows out of annual procession due to knee pain

ROME — Pope Francis has canceled his participation in a yearly Mass and procession next weekend due to ongoing knee pain, the Vatican said Monday.

The annual Corpus Domini procession, scheduled for Sunday, is a centuries-old profession of the Catholic faith during which the Eucharist is exhibited publicly.

Francis has canceled several events this year due to the strained ligaments in his right knee that have made walking and standing difficult. He has been using a wheelchair for over a month and the Vatican last week announced he had to cancel his planned July 2-7 trip to Africa in oreder not to jeopardize his recovery.