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Pope Francis Makes His First Public Appearance From The Hospital Since His Surgery

Pope Francis appears on a balcony of the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, Sunday, July 11, 2021, where he is recovering from intestinal surgery, for the traditional Sunday blessing and Angelus prayer. Pope Francis is 84 and had a part of his colon removed a week ago.
Pope Francis appears on a balcony of the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, Sunday, July 11, 2021, where he is recovering from intestinal surgery, for the traditional Sunday blessing and Angelus prayer. Pope Francis is 84 and had a part of his colon removed a week ago.

From the balcony of a tenth-floor window at hospital in Rome, Pope Francis made his first public appearance Sunday since having major intestinal surgery a week ago.

The Vatican says the 84-year-old pontiff has been on the mend since his scheduled surgery on July 4 to remove a portion of his colon that had narrowed due to inflammation. This is his first known hospital stay since being elected to the papacy in 2013.

During his Sunday address, the pope addressed the need for all people to have accessible health care. Reading from prepared remarks, Francis steadied himself on a lectern for support and praised the "tenderness" of those who care for the sick.

"In these days of being hospitalized, I have experienced once again how important good health care is, accessible to all, as it is in Italy and in other countries," Francis said. "Free health care, that assures good service, accessible to everyone. This precious benefit must not be lost. It needs to be kept!"

He also thanked doctors for the care he has received so far during his stay.

"I would like to express my appreciation and my encouragement to the doctors and all the healthcare workers and staff of this and of other hospitals," he said. "They work so hard!"

On the morning after his surgery, the Vatican said Francis was expected to remain in the hospital for a week to recover, "barring complications," though no specific discharge date has been given.

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