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PAPAL VISIT

Tourism minister indicates possible delay of pope's visit to Lebanon

Tourism minister indicates possible delay of pope's visit to Lebanon

Pope Francis in a wheelchair, May 5, 2022, at the Vatican. (Credit: Guglielmo Mangiapane/Reuters)

BEIRUT — Tourism Minister Walid Nassar said on Monday that Pope Francis’ visit to Lebanon, previously set for June 12 and 13, is still happening, but that a postponement is possible following the pope’s knee injury.

Here’s what we know:

    • “If there are changes, it will concern the date of the visit, not its cancellation. We are expecting an official statement from the Vatican on this matter, within the next two days,” said Nasser, who heads the domestic committee in charge of organizing the Pope's visit to Lebanon, during an interview with news site al-Markaziya.

    • Pope Francis, 85, is suffering from severe knee pain and appeared in a wheelchair for the first time in public on Thursday. He also suffers from hip pain and underwent colon surgery in July 2021, after which he also had to use a wheelchair.

    • “In case of postponement, the visit will not be postponed too much, and preparations are continuing,” the minister said. “There is no political reason.”

    • The Lebanese authorities had announced the pope's visit to Lebanon on June 12 and 13, while the Vatican has still not confirmed a date.


BEIRUT — Tourism Minister Walid Nassar said on Monday that Pope Francis’ visit to Lebanon, previously set for June 12 and 13, is still happening, but that a postponement is possible following the pope’s knee injury.Here’s what we know:    • “If there are changes, it will concern the date of the visit, not its cancellation. We are expecting an official statement from the...