Pope Francis Extends Hospital Stay for Surgery Recovery

This photograph shows a TV camera over the main entrance of the Policlinico A Gemelli Hospital, in Rome, on July 10, 2021, as Pope Francis will lead on July 11, The Angelus Prayer at the hospital where he is recovering from colon surgery. - Pope Francis has been touched by …
ISABELLA BONOTTO/AFP via Getty Images

ROME, Italy — The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Francis will not be back in the Vatican on Sunday as planned but will deliver his weekly Angelus message from the Gemelli Hospital, where he is recovering from intestinal surgery.

The pope went into the hospital for colon surgery last Sunday, after which papal spokesman Matteo Bruni said the pontiff was expected “to remain in hospital for approximately seven days, barring any complications.”

On Friday, Bruni revealed that Francis will still be in hospital on Sunday, at least through midday.

“Next Sunday the Angelus will be recited from the tenth floor of the ‘A. Gemelli’ University Hospital,” Bruni said in a separate statement Friday.

The Vatican Press Office has not yet indicated the cause of the extension, nor has it provided an updated departure date for the pope.

On Thursday, Bruni issued a press release in which he stated that the pope “temporarily ran a high temperature” on Wednesday evening.

Twenty-four minutes later, Bruni issued an amended statement downplaying the seriousness of the pope’s fever. The new statement said the pope “temporarily ran a temperature.”

Last Wednesday, Luis Badilla, editor of the semi-official Vatican news aggregator Il Sismografo, published a grim essay underscoring the gravity of the pope’s health situation and asserting that when he eventually returns from hospital, he “will never be the same again.”

There is a very significant detail that many “underestimate, ignore, or manipulate,” namely, “the disease that has affected Pope Francis is severe and degenerative” and “could also be chronic,” Badilla wrote.

Badilla also said the state of the pope’s health may well upset future travel plans, such as a pastoral trip to Hungary and Slovakia scheduled for September.

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