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Pope Francis expected to be released from hospital in coming days following abdominal surgery

Pope Francis is expected to be released from the hospital “in the coming days,” as he recovers well and without complications from abdominal surgery last week, the Vatican said Wednesday.

In his daily medical update, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Francis again rested well overnight, was at work during the day and had received the Eucharist during a moment of prayer in the chapel of his hospital suite.

The 86-year-old pope was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on June 7 for surgery to repair a hernia in his abdominal wall and remove intestinal scar tissue that had caused intestinal blockages. Francis in 2021 had 13 inches of his colon removed at Gemelli because of a narrowing of the intestine, and had at least two prior abdominal surgeries in Argentina.

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Citing Francis’ doctors, Bruni said the pope’s recovery “is proceeding regularly, without complications, and as such his discharge is planned for the coming days.”

 Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic

A view of the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome is shown on June 13, 2023, where Pope Francis is recovering from the abdominal surgery he underwent on June 7.  (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

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Daily Il Fatto Quotidiano quoted an email from the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Battista Re, to his colleagues saying Francis’ return to the Vatican was expected Thursday or Friday.

Francis already has a full agenda scheduled for next week, including a reported audience with Cuban President Miguel Diaz Cane and one with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. On June 23, he’s due to preside over an audience in the Sistine Chapel with artists to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the contemporary art collection in the Vatican Museums.

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The Vatican typically cancels papal audiences during July, a summer break that will give Francis time to recover more fully before his expected Aug. 2-6 trip to Portugal for World Youth Day. Other upcoming travel includes an Aug. 31-Sept. 4 visit to Mongolia, the first-ever by a pope, and a Sept. 23 day trip to Marseille, France.

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