ROME (Reuters) – Pope Francis had to use an external elevator to board the plane taking him to Malta on Saturday, a Reuters witness said.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said it was to “avoid unnecessary strain”.
The 85-year-old pope suffers from sciatica, a nerve condition that causes pain in his legs.
This is the first time in the Pope’s 36 trips abroad that he did not walk up the steps on his own.
(Reporting by Antonio Denti and Philip Pullella, writing by Agnieszka Flak)
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