Pope Advised not to Give Sunday Blessing From Hospital Balcony

Pope Advised not to Give Sunday Blessing From Hospital Balcony – According to the chief surgeon, Sergio Alfieri, Pope Francis is making good progress in his recovery from surgery. However, doctors have advised him against delivering his Sunday blessing from a hospital balcony to prevent any strain on his abdomen. During a briefing at the Gemelli hospital on Saturday, Dr. Alfieri further mentioned that the 86-year-old Pope has agreed to remain there for the entirety of the upcoming week, as per the doctors’ recommendation.

Francis underwent a three-hour operation to repair an abdominal hernia on Wednesday. “Only three days have passed. We asked the Holy Father to be prudent and avoid the strain (of standing at the balcony),” Alfieri said. “Each time he gets out of bed and sits in an armchair puts stress on the abdominal walls.” A mesh prosthetic was inserted into the abdominal wall to help it heal and doctors want it to settle and attach properly to avoid another operation if it breaks, he added.

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“You can understand how that would not be pleasing for him, and for me,” Alfieri joked. According to Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesperson, Pope Francis will be conducting Sunday’s customary noon Angelus prayer from his hospital suite, while the faithful can also participate in the prayer simultaneously. Dr. Alfieri stated that the pope was no longer receiving intravenous tubes as of Friday and had commenced a semi-liquid diet. 

He further assured that all medical indicators were normal, there were no issues with the heart, and it would take approximately three months for the abdominal scars to completely heal. The Vatican confirmed that the blood test results were satisfactory, and chest X-rays revealed no complications. At the age of 21, in his native Argentina, Francis underwent a surgery to remove a portion of one of his lungs due to an illness.

Following the procedure, doctors stated that once he has fully recovered, the pope should face no limitations on his travels or other activities. Upcoming on his agenda are trips to Portugal from 2-6 August, where he will attend World Youth Day and visit the Shrine of Fatima. Following that, he has a visit planned to Mongolia from 31 August to 4 September, which is considered one of the most remote locations he will have visited.

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Matteo Bruni reiterated that all scheduled meetings and audiences have been cancelled until 18 June. However, the pope’s future schedule remains intact for now. Traditionally, the pope takes the entire month of July off, with his Sunday blessings being his sole public appearance. This means he will have the entire month to rest and recover before embarking on his trip to Portugal.

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