Pope Francis is recovering from colon surgery in a Rome hospital and the Vatican has announced that he will deliver his weekly Sunday blessing from there.
An exact date for his release has not been given, although the Vatican had said he would spend about seven days in the hospital, barring complications.
Pope Francis has been recovering from a three-hour operation that removed half of his colon last Sunday evening. He was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital for the planned surgery after delivering his weekly Sunday blessing.
This is the first time the pope has been hospitalized since he was elected head of the Catholic Church.
The pope temporarily ran a mild fever Wednesday, but routine tests proved negative. The Vatican said he was in generally good condition, alert, eating normally, taking walks in the corridor, and even reading and working.
The Vatican said, though, that Francis would be delivering this Sunday’s Angelus prayer and blessing from the 10th floor of the hospital, where he has a private suite, the same one where Pope John Paul II was also treated many times.
It will be the first time since his election in 2013 that Francis has missed his Sunday appointment from the balcony of the apostolic palace with the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, except for when he has been on his travels. The pope is not yet in good enough condition to be able to return to the Vatican, and no further announcement about his release has yet been given.
The 84-year-old pope’s most recent ailments include painful sciatica that causes him to walk with a pronounced limp.
Francis is expected to resume all his activities after July. Starting in September, the Vatican has said, he plans trips to Hungary and Slovakia. In November, he has plans to visit Greece and Cyprus and may also attend an international meeting on climate change in Scotland later that month.