Pope reappears after pain flare-up, calls for peace

Pope Francis reappeared on Friday (January 1), after chronic sciatic pain forced him to miss New Year's celebrations.

He made no mention of his ailment as he delivered his traditional appeal for world peace.

"The painful events that marked humanity's journey in the past year, especially the pandemic, taught us how much it is necessary to take an interest in the problems of others and to share their concerns. This attitude represents the road that leads to peace, because it helps the construction of a society founded on relationships of brotherhood."

The pope had to skip services on Thursday and again on Friday morning because of a return of the sciatica -

a relatively common health problem that causes pain down the lower back and legs.

In his address, Francis highlighted particular concern about Yemen - which has been blighted by six years of violence.