July 13, 2021 user

Pope Francis will spend a few more days in the hospital following his July 4 intestinal surgery to “optimize” recovery and rehabilitation treatment and therapy, the Vatican said Monday.

The Vatican had originally said Francis could be released from Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic by the end of last week. In its latest update Monday, the Vatican said he had completed his post-operative treatment but “would remain a few more days to optimize medical and rehabilitation therapy.”

Surgeons removed half of Francis’ colon on July 4 for what doctors said was a severe narrowing of the large intestine.

The 84-year-old appeared for the first time in public since the surgery on Sunday, looking in good form as he delivered his weekly prayer from the 10th floor hospital balcony. He used the occasion to call for free health care for all.

Francis scheduled the surgery for July, when he typically suspends all public and private audiences and takes some time to rest. Even as he recovers, plans are going ahead for an autumn of travel, including confirmation Monday from the Scottish church that Francis hopes to make a quick trip to Glasgow to attend the COP26 climate conference in November.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Scottish Bishops Conference said bishops had written to Francis to assure him of a warm welcome in Scotland and were “delighted to hear that he does hope to attend and would be glad to meet with them in Glasgow.”

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