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Pope to miss Angelus prayers tomorrow while recovering from surgery

All papal audiences have been cancelled until 18 June to give the pontiff time to recover from a three-hour operation.

POPE FRANCIS IS recovering well from a hernia operation but will not appear in public for Sunday’s Angelus prayer, his doctor said today.

Francis underwent a three-hour operation at the Gemelli hospital in Rome on Wednesday, the latest health procedure for the 86-year-old leader of the Catholic Church.

All papal audiences have been cancelled until 18 June to give the pontiff time to recover, but the pope resumed work from his hospital room yesterday.

“He doesn’t have a fever, all cardio-respiratory functions are normal,” Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who operated on the pontiff, told the press today.

But doctors have recommended skipping the public Angelus prayer to avoid putting stress on abdominal muscles, which would be required to appear at the window of his hospital room.

“Generally, after an operation like this, one is hospitalised for four to five days,” Alfieri said.

“We hope to convince him to stay all of next week as such a hospital stay will allow him to return to work with more strength and security.”

But Francis will ultimately decide when to be discharged, he said.

The pope was suffering from a hernia on the site of a scar from a previous surgery.

Wednesday’s operation saw him placed under general anaesthesia as the abdominal wall was repaired with a surgical mesh.

In March, he spent three nights in Gemelli being treated with antibiotics for a respiratory infection.

In July 2021, he underwent surgery for a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of small bulges or pockets that can develop in the lining of the intestine, spending 10 days in hospital.

Francis has been head of the worldwide Catholic Church since 2013, when his predecessor Benedict XVI became the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign, citing his failing mental and physical health.

 – © AFP 2023

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