World

Pope ‘sitting up, working from an armchair’ after abdominal op

Candles with the image of Pope Francis are left at the entrance of the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome (AP)
Candles with the image of Pope Francis are left at the entrance of the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome (AP)

Pope Francis is “progressively improving” and sitting in an armchair working after surgery to remove intestinal scar tissue and repair a hernia in his abdominal wall, the Vatican has said.

After a restful night, Francis had breakfast and read the newspapers from his armchair, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

He quoted doctors as saying Francis’s condition was “progressively improving and the post-operative course is smooth”.

The pontiff spent the afternoon in prayer and at work, and took Holy Communion in the evening, the Vatican said. His IV has been removed.

“Pope Francis is touched by the numerous messages that he continues to receive in these hours,” the Vatican said, especially from children in hospital who have been sending him drawings.

The 86-year-old Pope was admitted to the Gemelli hospital on Wednesday for his second major abdominal operation in two years, following a 2021 procedure to remove part of his colon.

Doctors removed adhesions, or internal scarring, on the intestine that had caused a partial blockage. They also repaired a hernia that had formed over a previous scar, placing a prosthetic mesh in the abdominal wall.

Francis is expected to remain at Gemelli for several days.