Pope Francis makes his first appearance since bowel surgery | Health and beauty


ROME (AP) – Pope Francis made his first public appearance on Sunday since major bowel surgery last week, greeting supporters as he stood for 10 minutes on a hospital balcony, warmly thanking prayers for her recovery and calling for health care for all a “precious” good.

According to the Vatican, Francis, 84, is on the mend on a regular basis after his surgery scheduled for July 4 to remove part of his colon that had narrowed due to inflammation. But it was not specified when he could be released from the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome. The morning after his operation, a spokesman for the Holy See said his hospital stay was to last seven days, “barring complications.”

At first, the pontiff’s voice sounded a bit weak as he began his remarks after stepping onto a balcony outside his special suite in Gemelli at noon. But he smiled broadly at the people gathered below, including some hospital patients well enough to temporarily leave their rooms to encourage him.

At noon, traditionally, he would have appeared from a Vatican window overlooking St. Peter’s Square to recite the Angelus, or prayer. Exactly a week earlier, in his noon remarks, he had only hinted that in a few hours he would have the operation.

“I am happy to be able to hold the Sunday meeting of the Angelus, even here from the Gemelli polyclinic,” said Francis. “I thank everyone. I have felt your closeness and the support of your prayers.”

“Thank you from the heart!” the pontiff exclaimed, smiling, looking over the balcony railing to better see the faithful below.

Standing on the balcony with him were children who are also hospitalized at Gemelli, a large Catholic teaching hospital on the outskirts of Rome. The crowd below often applauded.

Francis underwent three hours of abdominal surgery under general anesthesia on July 4, and later that night was described by the Holy See as having responded well.

While reading prepared remarks on Sunday, he kept one or both hands on a desk for support, including when he raised an arm in blessing. The Pope praised the “tenderness” of those who care for the sick, who, according to him, were “like a caress that makes you feel better, relieves pain and lifts you up”.

“In these days of hospitalization, I have once again experienced how important a good health service is, accessible to all, as it is in Italy and in other countries,” said Francis.

“We must not lose this precious thing,” said the Pope. He added that “sometimes it happens in the (Catholic) church that a health facility, due to mismanagement, is not doing well economically, and the first thought that comes to our mind is to sell it, ”he said. “But the vocation in the church is not to have money, it is to be of service.

Francis added his appreciation for all healthcare workers, then, referring to the pediatric patients on the balcony with him, said “why are children in pain?”

“Why children suffer is a question that touches the heart,” Francis said, praying for them.

As usual on Sundays, François spoke about current events and the problems close to his heart. He reiterated his closeness to the Haitian people, recalling the assassination last week of its president and the injuries of the first lady. Francis prayed that the people of Haiti could “begin to embark on the path of a future of peace and harmony”.

The environmental fragility of the world has been a major theme of his papacy since his beginnings in 2013. On Sunday, with countless people vacationing on shore, Francis urged them to look after “the health of the seas.” “No plastic in the sea! “he pleaded.

He also expressed the hope that “Europe can be united in its founding values”, a possible reference to the tensions between the leaders of the European Union and Hungary, a member of the Council, over the repression of LGBTQ rights. . Francis noted that Sunday marked the feast of Saint Benedict, the patron saint of Europe.

Francis ended with his usual invitation “don’t forget to pray for me”, eliciting enthusiastic applause.

Also on Sunday, inside the hospital, the Pope chatted with other patients as an assistant led him down a hallway. In a Vatican News video, Francis could be seen shaking hands with a woman as she lay on her bed, which had been moved to the hallway for the occasion, and could be heard telling the pontiff that ‘they were both 84 years old.

Besides seeing the faithful again, Francis had another reason to smile on Sunday. Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the Copa America final. Francis is a huge football fan and has roots for the San Lorenzo team in his hometown of Buenos Aires.

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