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Doctors urge Pope Francis to skip public prayer, says pontiff is recovering well

Pope Francis continues to recover at a hospital in Rome after undergoing abdominal surgery earlier this week.

The pope underwent a laparotomy and received abdominal wall plastic surgery on Wednesday.

The Vatican Press Office released a statement Saturday reporting that Pope Francis is maintaining “a cautious convalescence that aims to minimize strain on the abdominal wall to allow the implanted prosthetic mesh and muscle fascia repair to heal optimally.”

POPE FRANCIS WORKING FROM HOSPITAL IN STABLE CONDITION AFTER ABDOMINAL SURGERY, VATICAN SAYS

Gemelli hospital

Director of the department of Abdominal and Endocrine Metabolic Medical and Surgical Sciences at the Gemelli hospital, professor Sergio Alfieri (2R) and Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni (R) arrive to speak to the media at the hospital in Rome, on June 10, 2023. Pope Francis underwent an operation for an abdominal hernia on June 7 at a Rome hospital, which was completed ‘without complications’, the Vatican said. The Pope is ‘doing well’ and ‘joking’ after surgery, Alfieri said.  (TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Pope Francis’s doctors are urging against the pontiff leading a scheduled Angelus public prayer on Sunday.

Instead, the Vatican is saying the pope will be praying in private and “uniting himself spiritually with affection and gratitude to the faithful, wherever they may be, who wish to accompany him” in prayer.

POPE’S ABDOMINAL SURGERY ‘WENT WELL,’ RECOVERING IN HOSPITAL, VATICAN SAYS

Francis, 86, underwent a three-hour operation at Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Wednesday, June 7, to repair a hernia, which doctors said was successful enough that he should have no limitations on his travels and other activities after he recovers.

POPE HOSPITAL FLOWERS

This photograph taken on June 9, 2023, shows candles and flowers layed under the statue of late Pope John Paul II at the entrance of the Rome’s Gemelli hospital. Pope Francis was in a hospital in Rome for a medical check-up on June 6, according to Italian media, just over two months after he was hospitalised with bronchitis. (ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)

During the operation, doctors removed adhesions, or internal scarring, on the intestine that had caused a partial blockage. 

POPE FRANCIS UNDERGOING ABDOMINAL SURGERY IN ROME TO DEAL WITH INTESTINAL ISSUE

Dr. Sergio Alfieri, director of abdominal and endocrine sciences at Gemelli hospital, said in a Friday press conference that the Pope woke up in good spirits and was even joking.

“When will we do the third one?” Alfieri said, quoting the pope.

Doctors at Gemelli

Director of the department of Abdominal and Endocrine Metabolic Medical and Surgical Sciences at the Gemelli hospital, professor Sergio Alfieri, next to the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni (R), delivers a press conference on Pope’s health at the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome on June 10, 2023. Pope Francis underwent an operation for an abdominal hernia on June 7 at a Rome hospital, which was completed ‘without complications’, the Vatican said. The Pope is ‘doing well’ and ‘joking’ after surgery, Alfieri said. 

RUSSIA ACKNOWLEDGES VATICAN PEACE MISSION AS HOLY SEE TRIES TO ’HELP EASE THE TENSIONS’ 

Alfieri has declared the surgery a complete success and has stressed that Pope Francis is recovering well.

Alfieri has also revealed that in addition to the 2021 colon surgery, Francis had undergone previous abdominal surgeries at some time before 2013 in Argentina, which had also caused scarring.

Pope Francis greeting

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at The Vatican, Wednesday, June 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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The Vatican said that all of the pope’s private and general audiences had been canceled until June 18 as a precautionary measure. 

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