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Pope Francis in hospital for surgery

is in hospital in Rome undergoing surgery on his colon, the Vatican has said.

The 84-year-old pontiff was admitted for a scheduled surgery after suffering from a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, said spokesperson Matteo Bruni.

Mr Bruni said the surgery would take place later on Sunday and that a statement would be issued afterwards.

Diverticulitis is an inflammation caused by the development of small bulges in the lining of the large intestine. Although most cases are asymptomatic, the condition can cause pain in the lower tummy.

Pope Francis standing in front of a window: Vatican Pope - Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

The news came just hours after the Pope attended the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican and told churchgoers he would be going to Hungary and Slovakia in September.

The Holy See press office said in a statement: “This afternoon his Holiness Pope Francis went to the Gemelli hospital - Rome - for a scheduled surgical intervention for a symptomatic stenotic diverticulitis. Surgery will be carried out by professor Sergio Alfieri. At the end of the surgery a medical bulletin will be issued.”

It is the first time that the Pope has been admitted to hospital since his appointment in 2013. He is considered to be in generally good health but had part of one lung removed as a young man.

He also suffers sciatica, occasionally having painful bouts of the condition that involves a nerve affecting the lower back and leg. 

Reference: Independent: Leonie Chao-Fong

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