Pope Francis is expected to undergo intestinal surgery on Wednesday and remain in the hospital for several days, the Vatican said, raising new concerns about the health of the pontiff.
The pope, 86, was taken to the Policlinico A. Gemelli hospital in Rome on Tuesday for what the Vatican said at the time were routine medical checks. The Vatican said on Wednesday that his medical team had determined that surgery under general anesthesia was necessary.
Francis held his weekly general audience as scheduled on Wednesday morning in St. Peter’s Square. He appeared serene, shaking hands with the faithful and allowing several children to board the so-called popemobile while he was driven around the square.
This is the second time in just over two months that Francis has been admitted to the Gemelli hospital. In late March, he was hospitalized for three days for treatment of bronchitis.
The pope has dealt with a number of health issues, including major colon surgery in 2021, and he now often uses a cane or a wheelchair because of knee problems and sciatica.