Pope Francis Misses Services Old and New
Pope Francis must be absent this year around the turn of the year.
Due to pain in his leg, he has to leave a Vesper service on Thursday afternoon and mass on Friday to cardinals, the Vatican reports Thursday.
It is the first time in years that Pope Francis, who turned 84 this month, has had to cancel a papal event for health reasons.
He will be able to say the afternoon prayer on Friday.
Francis has long suffered from sciatica, which causes nerve pain from the back to his right leg.