As Pope Francis suffers from his continued knee pain, the Holy See Press Office confirms he will not preside over a Corpus Christi Mass or Procession. The past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in order to prevent contagion, the Masses took place in St. Peter’s Basilica with very limited faithful, and without any procession.
By Deborah Castellano Lubov
“Due to the limitations imposed on the Pope by his knee pain and because of the specific liturgical needs of the celebration, the Holy Mass and Procession with the Eucharistic Blessing will not be celebrated on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.”
This was the statement issued on Monday by the Holy See Press Office ahead of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on Thursday.
For various years on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Pope Francis continued the tradition of presiding over Mass in the courtyard of the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran, and the procession with the faithful toward Rome’s Marian Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Corpus Christi celebrations amid Covid-19 pandemic
In subsequent years, Pope Francis decided to share the tradition by having the Mass and procession in different parishes and areas around Rome.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the past two years, the procession had been suspended in its entirety to protect against contagion, and the Masses were celebrated with either very limited or hardly any faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica.