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Pope Francis Visits A Hospital In Rome To Have Intestinal Surgery

Pope Francis Visits A Hospital In Rome To Have Intestinal Surgery

According to the Vatican, Pope Francis arrived at a Rome hospital on Sunday for scheduled surgery for a stenosis, or restriction, of the large intestine.

The brief announcement from the Holy See's press office did not specify when the surgery would take place, but did state that an announcement would be made once the procedure was completed.

Only three hours before, Francis had cheerfully greeted the public in St. Peter's Square, as is customary on Sundays, and informed them that he will visit Hungary and Slovakia in September.

According to the Vatican, the pope has been diagnosed with “symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” a narrowing of the large intestine.

Francis, 84, had used the same appearance a week earlier to ask for special prayers for himself, which could have been a hint at the planned surgery at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic.

“I ask you to pray for the pope, pray in a special way,” Francis told the faithful in the square on June 27. “The pope needs your prayers,” he added, thanking them and saying, “I know you will do that.”

Francis is in generally good health, but he did have a portion of one lung removed when he was younger, and he also suffers from sciatica, which involves a nerve affecting the lower back and leg and has caused him to miss scheduled appearances on occasion.

Last week, the pope had a particularly busy schedule, including a Mass on Tuesday to commemorate the Catholic feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, as well as presiding over a special prayer service for Lebanon later in the week, and a lengthy private audience with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on June 28.

Gemelli surgeons have previously operated on papal patients, including Pope John Paul II, who had a benign tumor removed from his colon in 1992.

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