BREAKING NEWS – Rome, Italy – Pope Francis I ushered in the New Year on Friday with a traditional Angelus blessing from the papal library, pushing through nerve pain that forced him to skip New Year’s ceremonies in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The pope appeared relaxed as he stood at a lectern in the Apostolic Palace wishing the faithful watching via video “a year of peace, a year of hope.”

The Vatican on Thursday announced that the pope would not preside over a New Year’s Eve prayer service nor the New Year’s Day Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica due to “painful sciatica.” According to his spokesman, the Pope’s injury was caused by him lifting a large box full of recent lawsuits filed by nuns accusing him of sexism and slander. The court documents were filed in November shortly after he publicly stated, “Nuns should start wearing make-up, because many of them look so homely, they could pass for being one of those expressionless wives of polygamists in those prison-like Mormon compounds.”