Pope defies resignation rumors and hopes to visit Kyiv, Moscow

ROME -- Pope Francis denies rumors that he will resign soon and said that he would like to visit Moscow and Kyiv following his trip to Canada later in the month.

Pope defies resignation rumors and hopes to visit Kyiv, Moscow

ROME -- Pope Francis denies rumors that he will resign soon and said that he would like to visit Moscow and Kyiv following his trip to Canada later in the month.

In an interview with Reuters published Monday, Francis also stated that he had never considered announcing a retirement plan at the end the summer. However, he reiterated his belief that he could step down one day like Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in 2013.

He explained that his knee pain, which caused him to have to use a wheelchair for more than a month, was due to a "small bone fracture." This occurred when he stepped awkwardly with the knee ligaments inflamed.

He stated that it is slowly improving with laser and magnetic therapy.

Francis was scheduled to visit Congo and South Sudan this coming week, but doctors advised him to cancel because he needed additional therapy. He stated that he was aboard to travel to Canada from July 24-30 and that he hopes to visit Russia or Ukraine shortly thereafter.

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