Pope Francis, 84, taken to hospital in Rome for scheduled surgery

Pope Francis, 84, is taken to hospital in Rome for scheduled intestinal surgery hours after greeting the public in St Peter’s Square

  • Spokesman said the pope was suffering from ‘symptomatic diverticular stenosis’
  • He is due to have surgery on his colon later today at Rome’s Gemelli hospital
  • Earlier Sunday, the pope gave his weekly blessing to crowds in St. Peter’s Square

Pope Francis was admitted to a Rome hospital on Sunday afternoon for ‘scheduled surgery’ on his colon later in the day, the Vatican said.

Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope, 84, was suffering from ‘symptomatic diverticular stenosis’ of the colon, a condition that can cause recurrent abdominal pain, bloating and changes in bowel habits.

Bruni said the operation would take place later on Sunday in Rome’s Gemelli hospital, which is the institution where popes receive medical treatment. Another statement would be issued afterwards.

It is the first time the pope has been admitted to hospital since his election in 2013.

Francis appeared to be in fine health several hours earlier when he addressed thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his Sunday blessing and announced a trip to Slovakia and Budapest for September.

He had a particularly demanding set of appointments last week, including celebrating a Mass on Tuesday to mark the Catholic feast day honouring saints Peter and Paul, and later in the week presiding at a special prayer service for Lebanon.

Pope Francis was admitted to a Rome hospital on Sunday afternoon for ‘scheduled surgery’ on his colon later in the day, the Vatican said. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pope, 84, was suffering from ‘symptomatic diverticular stenosis’ of the colon, a condition that can cause recurrent abdominal pain, bloating and changes in bowel habits. Pictured: Francis on Sunday

On June 28, he had a long private audience at the Vatican with US secretary of state Antony Blinken.

Throughout all those engagements, Francis appeared to be in good spirits.

The pope is sometimes short of breath because a part of one of his lungs was removed following an illness when he was a young man in his native Argentina.

Francis also suffers from sciatica, a condition that causes pain that radiates from the lower back along the sciatic nerve to the legs.

He is sometimes seen walking with difficulty because of the pain and receives regular physical therapy for it.

The condition forced him to miss several events at the beginning of this year.

Last year, a bad cold kept him from taking part in a week-long Lenten retreat with his senior aides south of Rome.

In 2014, a year after he was elected pope, Francis was forced to cancel several engagements because of what was believed to be a stomach ailment   

Gemelli doctors have performed surgery before on papal patients, including on John Paul II, who had a benign tumour in his colon removed in 1992.

A Vatican spokesman said the operation would take place later on Sunday in Rome’s Gemelli hospital (pictured), which is the institution where popes receive medical treatment. Another statement would be issued afterwards

Source: Read Full Article