ROME >> Pope Francis spent another good night in the Rome hospital where he is recovering from abdominal surgery, the Vatican said today.
Francis, 86, underwent the operation on Wednesday to repair a hernia in the abdominal wall and to remove scar tissue that had formed following intestinal surgery in previous years.
The Vatican said it would provide more details on the pope’s medical progress later in the day.
Meanwhile, thousands of people were expected in St. Peter’s Square for a late-afternoon gathering at the Vatican to promote brotherhood — a quality so dear to Francis he wrote an encyclical on its importance in 2020. In that document, the pope explained his vision of a post-COVID world built on solidarity, fraternity and care for the environment.
The crowd was expected to see a video message from the pope. It wasn’t immediately clear if Francis had recorded the message before his surgery or during the hospitalization.
While in the 10th-floor apartment reserved for papal use at Gemelli Polyclinic, Francis has been reading newspapers while sitting in an armchair, and spent time working and in prayer, according to the Vatican.
No date has yet been announced for his release from the hospital.
Shortly after the three-hour operation, his surgeon told reporters that the pontiff had experienced no complications during the surgery or from the general anesthesia.
During the operation, the surgical team removed adhesions, a kind of internal scarring not infrequent after previous surgery. Two years earlier, Francis had part of his colon removed following a narrowing of a section of the bowel. During Wednesday’s operation, the doctors also repaired a hernia that had formed over a previous scar, placing a prosthetic mesh that serves as a support.