Pope Francis undergoes surgery

ROME — The Vatican announced that Pope Francis had responded well to colon surgery in a hospital in Rome on Sunday evening, overcoming the first significant health challenge in a pontificate that has lasted more than eight years and shifted the priorities and direction of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis undergoes surgery
Pope Francis

In a short statement released late Sunday night after the unexpected announcement of the pope’s hospitalization earlier in the day, Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesman, said that the operation had taken place while the pope was under general anesthesia and that Francis, 84, had “responded well.”

Pope Francis undergoes surgery
Mr Buni

Earlier Sunday, Mr. Bruni stunned the faithful throughout the church when he announced that Francis had been taken to the Gemelli hospital in the Italian capital for “scheduled surgery” to treat symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.

Pope Francis undergoes surgery
Dr. Sergio Alferi

The surgery was performed by Dr. Sergio Alfieri, who heads the hospital’s operational unit for digestive surgery, the Vatican said.

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