‘Still alive’: Pope Francis leaves hospital with few signs of slowing down

by | Jun 16, 2023 | Religion

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — “Still alive,” Pope Francis reassured the world as he returned to the Vatican on Friday after a 10-day stay at the hospital following surgery to repair a hernia.The pope will now resume his public schedule, beginning with his Sunday Angelus prayer overlooking St. Peter’s Square. The traditional Wednesday audience in the square next week, however, was cancelled “to safeguard the Holy Father’s post-surgery recovery,” the Vatican said in a statement.
Francis went to Il Gemelli Hospital in Rome on June 6 after doctors found a hernia related to an earlier abdominal surgery that had caused him severe recurring pain. 
As many Catholics spent the days of the pope’s recovery concerned about the 86-year-old pontiff’s physical health, Francis continued to put the pieces in place for his succession.
While in the hospital, Francis named Bishop Josè Cobo to head the Archdiocese of Madrid in Spain, an important post that Spanish-speaking prelates around the world look to as a point of reference. Cobo is considered a supporter of Francis’ vision, and Vatican experts believe it won’t be long before he is made cardinal.
Francis has been intentional in his cardinal appointments, giving red hats to prelates who hail from a more diverse range of cultures and nationalities but who also reflect his plans for the future of the church. Francis has selected 63% of the cardinal electors who wil …

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