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Pope Francis Working From Hospital

FILE: Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at The Vatican, Wednesday, June 7, 2023. Later that day, he underwent hernia surgery.

ROME — Pope Francis has started working again after spending another good night in hospital following hernia surgery, the Vatican said Friday.

Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, had breakfast Friday before spending "most of the morning in an armchair" rather than in bed, the Vatican said.

"This allowed him to read the newspapers and start working again," it said in a statement.

His post-operative recovery was proceeding as expected, it added.

Francis, 86, underwent a three-hour operation at the Gemelli hospital in Rome on Wednesday, and was said to be cheerful when he woke up.

On Thursday the pope called to thank the mother of a little boy he had baptized while both the pope and the boy were being treated at the Gemelli at the end of March, after the family sent him a poster wishing him a speedy recovery.

At the time, the pope had been hospitalized for three nights with a respiratory infection, which was cured with antibiotics.

In July 2021, he also underwent surgery at the Gemelli for a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of small bulges or pockets that can develop in the lining of the intestine, spending 10 days in hospital.

This time, the pontiff had been suffering from a hernia on the site of a scar from a previous operation, his surgeon Sergio Alfieri told reporters after the operation on Wednesday.

He was placed under general anesthesia and the abdominal wall was repaired with a surgical mesh, Alfieri said.

All papal audiences have been cancelled until June 18 to give the pontiff time to recover.

Francis has been head of the worldwide Catholic Church since 2013, when his predecessor Benedict XVI became the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign, citing his failing mental and physical health.