Speed Reads

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Pope Francis leaves the hospital 10 days after surgery to have half his colon removed

Pope Francis has returned to the Vatican more than a week after undergoing surgery. 

The pope on Wednesday was discharged from a hospital in Rome 10 days after he underwent surgery to have half of his colon removed, The Associated Press reports. The Vatican's spokesperson said Francis visited the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica on his way home and "expressed his gratitude for the success of his surgery and offered a prayer for all the sick, especially those he had met during his stay in hospital." 

The Vatican previously said that Francis was in "good, overall condition, alert and breathing spontaneously" after undergoing surgery due to a narrowing in his large intestine. Though the Vatican said the surgery was previously scheduled, The New York Times notes it "alarmed many because of the seriousness of the surgery and the Vatican's history of obfuscation when it comes to the health of pontiffs," and according to The Associated Press, he stayed in the hospital a few days longer than expected. On Sunday, though, Francis made his first public appearance since the surgery, leading prayer from the hospital balcony. 

"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," he said. "This precious benefit must not be lost. It needs to be kept."