Pope Francis hospitalized for deliberate bowel surgical procedure – WISH-TV | Indianapolis Information | Indiana climate
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis went to a hospital in Rome for a planned operation on his colon on Sunday, the Vatican said. The news came just three hours after Francis cheerfully greeted the public in St. Peter’s Square and announced that he would be traveling to Hungary and Slovakia in September.
The brief statement from the Holy See Press Office didn’t say exactly when the operation would be performed at Gemelli Polyclinic, a Catholic teaching hospital, only that there would be a medical update after the operation was completed. However, sources suggested the surgery would be done later on Sunday.
It was the Pope’s first known hospital treatment since his election as Pope in 2013.
The Vatican said the 84-year-old Pope was diagnosed with “symptomatic diverticulum stenosis of the colon,” an indication of a narrowing in the colon. The operation should be carried out by Dr. Sergio Alfieri, director of the digestive surgery department at Gemelli.
A week earlier, Francis had used his Sunday appearance to ask the public for special prayers for themselves that could, in retrospect, point to the planned operation.
“I ask you to pray for the Pope, to pray in a special way,” Francis asked the believers in the square on June 27th. “The Pope needs your prayers,” he said, thanking him and saying, “I know you will do that.”
Francis is generally in good health, but as a young man he had part of a lung removed. He also suffers from sciatica and occasionally has painful attacks of the condition in which a nerve affects the lower back and leg. That sometimes forced him to skip scheduled gigs.
The Pope had a particularly demanding series of appointments last week, including the celebration of a mass on Tuesday to mark the Catholic feast day in honor of Saints Peter and Paul and later in the week presiding over a special prayer service for Lebanon. On June 28, he also had a long private audience in the Vatican with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Throughout all of these engagements, Francis seemed to be in a good mood.
Gemelli doctors have operated on papal patients, including Pope John Paul II, who had a benign tumor removed from his colon in 1992.