Pope Francis has again cancelled his daily meetings because of acute knee pain that has greatly curtailed his mobility in recent months.

The Vatican said in a statement that Francis’s doctors had recommended he interrupt his planned activities, which included a meeting of his cabinet of cardinal advisers who meet every three months at the Vatican.

Francis last Friday cleared his schedule for medical checks, the results of which have not been released.

The 85-year-old has said he strained the ligaments in his right knee, making walking, standing and getting up from his chair increasingly difficult and painful.

Pope Francis is helped by his aide Monsignor Diego Ravelli as he presides over a Mass for the Divine Mercy in St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday
Pope Francis is helped by his aide Monsignor Diego Ravelli (Andrew Medichini/AP)

Francis has long had a pronounced limp due to sciatica nerve pain, but the knee pain has aggravated it.

He has had to bow out of celebrating several recent liturgical events, including the Easter Vigil and a Mass last Sunday.

The pope now frequently walks with a shuffle and the assistance of an aide.

He has a packed travel schedule coming up, including reported trips to Lebanon in June, Congo, South Sudan and Canada in July and Kazakhstan in September.