Pope Francis is doing well after undergoing abdominal surgery, the Vatican said.


Rome
CNN

Pope Francis was recuperating in a Rome hospital on Thursday, the day after an 86-year-old man underwent an abdominal operation that restarted health concerns.

“The night went well,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement on the Vatican’s press service Telegram account.

Francis had a “quiet night, having been able to rest for a long time” and is in “good general condition, alert and breathing easily,” a Vatican spokesman told reporters Thursday.

“The Pope has been informed of the messages of intimacy and love that have come in over the past few hours and expresses his gratitude while asking for continued prayers for him,” a spokesperson said.

Dad will spend the rest of the day in peace, as advised by his medical staff.

Francis left for the hospital on Wednesday after a general audience at St. Peter’s, where he stopped to interact with members of the crowd. The pope then went to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, which has a suite on the 10th floor reserved for popes, according to Reuters.

“It was not an emergency operation,” the doctor said. This was stated at a press conference by the surgeon Sergio Alfieri, who operated on Pope Francis.

“He continued to feel pain, so the decision was made to operate,” Alfieri said.

Pope Francis, seated in a wheelchair, attended the weekly general audience at the Vatican on June 7th.

According to the Vatican, there were no complications. Earlier it was reported that the Pope would remain in the hospital for a few days.

According to Alfieri, Francis responded well to the surgery and anesthesia and had already managed to joke around after the surgery.

“No other pathologies or illnesses were found,” Alfieri said, adding that the pope had resumed his work from the hospital.

The operation is the latest in a series of health concerns surrounding Pope Francis.

At the end of May, he was forced to cancel several work commitments due to a fever. In March, he was also hospitalized with bronchitis, but recovered after taking antibiotics.

When he left the hospital about it, Francis joked that he was “still alive”.

Wednesday’s procedure, called a laparotomy, involved general anesthesia and is designed to repair a hernia that the Vatican said was causing “recurring, painful and worsening” symptoms.

Medical sources say the intervention was likely due to an operation Francis underwent in 2021 that removed half of his colon.

Francis also had part of his lung removed after a severe bout of pneumonia in his youth. In 2019, he underwent eye surgery for cataracts. He also struggled with chronic sciatica pain.

Over the past year, due to problems with his knees, he has had to use a cane or a wheelchair.

If Francis is incapacitated for a while, the Vatican could face a constitutional crisis. In the Catholic system, there is no “vice-pope”, that is, a person who can exercise the power of the pope in his absence.

The Vatican’s Secretary of State, currently Cardinal Pietro Parolin of Italy, may oversee the day-to-day running of government, but he does not have powers such as appointing bishops or creating or abolishing dioceses around the world.

Bruni said before the procedure that the Pope should “fully recover”. The Prefecture of the Papal Court has announced that all audiences for Francis have been canceled until June 18.

Pope Francis waves as he leaves the event in a popemobile on June 7.

Tourists and worshipers at the Vatican told CNN they were “praying for Pope Francis” as he went to the hospital on Wednesday.

“I went to an audience today and saw my dad. Then we heard mass and the priest told us to pray for the pope. We are now praying for Pope Francis,” said Sister Annatuli, 40.

Karina, 30, said she came from Mexico to visit her aunt, who is a nun in Rome. “I understand how serious this is. It is difficult because so many people are devoted to him and the church.

“We hope he recovers.”

In an interview with Spanish daily ABC in December, Francis said he had already prepared resignation letter in case of permanent disability shortly after his election in 2013.

Francis said he wrote the letter years ago and gave it to the then Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who resigned in 2013.

In his first public comments about the existence of the letter, the Pope said: “I have already signed my resignation. The secretary of state at that time was Tarcisio Bertone. I signed it and said: “If I become disabled for medical reasons or for some other reason, here is my waiver.”

Papal resignations are extremely rare. In 2013, Francis’ immediate predecessor, the late Pope Benedict XVIbecause the first pope to retire in almost 600 yearsciting “old age” as the reason.

In 2013, Francis’ immediate predecessor, the late Pope Benedict XVI, made the almost unprecedented decision to step down from office, citing “advanced age” as a reason, and shocking the Catholic world.

This decision shocked the Catholic world. The last pope to resign before his death was Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 to end a civil war within the church with more than one person claiming to be pope.

Pope Francis positioned himself as a more progressive leader than his predecessors during his ten-year tenure.

In 2016, he called for priests around the world to be more accepting of the LGBT community, but later declined to comment, stating his support for civil unions for same-sex couples.

He made historic visits to Myanmar and Iraq, and was the first pontiff to celebrate Mass in the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam, in 2019.

The Pope is also actively supporting peace in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with the Pope at the Vatican in May.

Francis also took steps to address the problem of sexual abuse by the clergy, a problem that plagues the Catholic Church around the world. speaking in 2018 that young Catholics were “outraged” by the “monstrous” crisis of church violence.