Pope Francis will spend a few more days in hospital following his colon surgery, the Vatican confirmed on Monday.
The 84-year-old has been recovering from surgery, which took place eight days ago, to remove a portion of his large intestine at the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome.
The Pope, who was born in Argentina to Italian parents, was cheered up in hospital by Italy’s victory in the European championship, after the football team beat England 3-2 during a nail-biting penalty shootout.
‘The Holy Father will remain hospitalised for a few more days in order to optimise the medical and rehabilitation therapy,’ the Vatican said.
Pope Francis (pictured on Sunday) will spend a few more days in hospital following his colon surgery, the Vatican confirmed on Monday
Pope Francis leads prayers from a balcony of the Gemelli hospital yesterday
His hospital stay after the procedure for inflammation of the colon, which took place on July 4, was initially expected to last just seven days.
On Sunday, he Pope made his first public appearance since undergoing his surgery as he spoke to crowds from his hospital balcony in Rome.
He stood for 10 minutes greeting well-wishers, seen for the first time since the procedure, at noon on what would have been the hour when he traditionally appears from a window at the Vatican overlooking St Peter’s Square.
Reading from prepared remarks, he told the crowds: ‘I thank everyone. I very much felt your closeness and the support of your prayers.’
He described his hospital admission as an opportunity to understand the importance of a ‘good health service, accessible to all, as it is in Italy and other countries.
‘We mustn’t lose this precious thing.’
The Pope made his first public appearance since undergoing his surgery yesterday as he stood on his hospital balcony in Rome
Similar to the NHS, Italy has a national public health service, and residents can often receive treatment at private hospitals, with the costs reimbursed by the government.
He also took the time on Sunday to talk about current events.
He reiterated his closeness to Haiti, recalling the assassination of its president Jovenel Moïse and wounding of the first lady Martine Moïse last week.
Mrs Moïse issued the recorded statement in Creole from the Florida hospital yesterday where she was being treated for wounds suffered in the attack early Wednesday.
‘I’m alive, thanks to God,’ she said in the recording. ‘But I love my husband Jovenel. We fought together for more than 25 years.
‘During all these years, love radiated within the home. But suddenly, the mercenaries came and pelted my husband with bullets.
She spoke hours after it emerged that the leader of Haiti’s opposition hired a Washington DC lobbyist two days before President Moïse was assassinated – and that he is now due to be questioned by cops over his murder.
Francis also spoke about the environment, which has been a major theme of his papacy since it began in 2013.
He urged people to look after ‘the health of seas and oceans’ and said ‘no plastic in the sea!’
He also voiced hope that ‘Europe may be united in its founding values’.
He stood for 10 minutes greeting well-wishers at noon on what would have been the hour when he traditionally appears from a window at the Vatican overlooking St Peter’s Square
It could be a possible reference to tensions between EU leaders and Hungary over LGBTQ rights crackdowns.
The new law is ostensibly designed to crack down on paedophilia, but critics say the law dangerously conflates paedophilia with homosexuality and stigmatises support for the LGBTQ+ community.
The law prohibits the sharing of any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment to children under-18 in school sex education programs, films and advertisements.
Earlier this week, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen warned Hungry to reverse course on its anti-LGBTQ+ policy after pressure mounted on Brussels to cut EU funding to Budapest.
The EU is soon set to reveal legal proceedings against Hungary as a result.
According to Bloomberg, the European Commission is planning to send Hungary a letter of formal notice as a last resort before the matter is taken to the EU Courts of Justice.
Meanwhile, the Vatican said on Monday that the Pope was delighted by Italy’s Euro 2020 success as he continued his recovery in hospital.
Italy’s win during the penalty shootout dashed the hopes of England fans wishing to claim their first major championship in 55 years.
Italians were left stunned early in the final after Luke Shaw scored a half-volley to give England a 1-0 advantage just minutes after Sunday’s 8:00 p.m. kick off at Wembley Stadium.
The Pope is said to have been cheered up by Italy’s victory in the European championship, after the football team beat England 3-2 in the final during a nail-biting penalty shootout
Some cities in Italy banned public gatherings in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while Italy’s interior minister has also advised people to stay home to watch the game. Pictured: Italy’s fans celebrate in front of the Duomo cathedral in Milan
Supporters wearing Italy strips and face masks emblazoned with the country’s red white and green flag sang songs and waved flags in the streets of Rome
But Italian supporters at Wembley and in Rome’s fan zones erupted with joy when Leonardo Bonucci scored, reinvigorating hopes of a victory.
The score remained 1-1 into added time, leading to a nail-biting penalty shoot out.
Despite two spot-kick saves from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their efforts to hand the Italians a 3-2 shootout win.
Pope Francis joined the rest of Italy in sharing his delight after the sensational victory, which saw many football fans taking to the streets of Rome to celebrate.
Other cities in Italy banned public gatherings in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while Italy’s interior minister advised people to stay home to watch the game.
But supporters wearing Italy strips and face masks emblazoned with the country’s red white and green flag sang songs and danced in the streets of Rome on Sunday.
The celebrations continued into the early hours of Monday morning as the city exploded in red, white and green as thousands crammed on to the roads.