On Monday, a Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni said in a statement that Pope Francis was in “good general condition” after he underwent colon surgery that took three hours, on Sunday. The statement also said that the pontiff will remain in hospital for a week “if no complications arise.” It also mentioned that the pope was breathing on his own and was alert.
Pope Francis suffers from diverticulitis, a condition where the colon gets infected or inflamed. About half of his colon was removed. This is the first time the Pope has undergone a serious operation, in his eight-year pontificate, though he has had a cataract operation in 2019 and a part of his lung removed due to tuberculosis in 1957.
Pope Francis is recuperating on the 10th floor in the wing of a Catholic university hospital — the Gemelli Polyclinic in the same rooms that were occupied by Pope John Paul II. When Pope John Paul II was shot in 1981, he was taken to the same hospital for emergency treatment. The then pontiff had joked that the hospital was “the third Vatican.”
Pope Francis is a charismatic leader who has been putting in a lot of effort to reinvigorate the church.
He had visited Iraq in March, to preach a message of unity. However, he has slowed down due to sciatica, a condition that causes leg and back pain. He missed New Year’s Eve and Day services due to sciatica. Although there was no prior intimation from the Vatican before Sunday, July has been a slow month for the pope, and it was easily to schedule the operation in line with his agenda.
The Vatican would be issuing updates on the pontiff’s condition twice a day. Get well soon messages are pouring in from all over the world. The Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi sent a message to the pope wishing him a “speedy recovery.”