Pope Francis was in the hospital Sunday in Rome for scheduled surgery for a stenosis, or restriction, of the large intestine, the Vatican said.
The short declaration from the Holy See’s press office didn’t say precisely when the medical procedure would be performed however said there would be a declaration when the medical procedure is finished.
Only three hours sooner, Francis had merrily welcomed general society in St. Peter’s Square with regards to a Sunday custom and revealed to them he will go to Hungary and Slovakia in September.
The Vatican said the pope had been determined to have “indicative diverticular stenosis of the colon,” a reference to a narrowing in the digestive organ.
Seven days sooner, Francis, 84, had utilized similar appearance to ask the general population for exceptional supplications for himself, which, looking back may have been alluding to the arranged a medical procedure at Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic.
“I ask you to pray for the pope, pray in a special way,” Francis had asked the faithful in the square in his June 27 appearance. “The pope needs your prayers,” he said, adding his thanks and saying “I know you will do that.”
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Francis is in generally good health but did have part of one lung removed as a young man. He also suffers from sciatica, occasionally having painful bouts of the condition that involves a nerve affecting the lower back and leg. That has forced him at times to skip scheduled appearances.
The pope had a particularly demanding set of appointments last week, including celebrating a Mass on Tuesday to mark the Catholic feast day honoring Saints Peter and Paul, and later in the week, presiding at a special prayer service for Lebanon. On June 28, he also had a long private audience at the Vatican with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Throughout all those engagements, Francis appeared to be in good spirits.