ROME – According to his personal secretary, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI is praying for the health of Pope Francis, after his successor underwent surgery on Sunday.
Italian news outlet Mediaset reported on Monday that Archbishop Georg Ganswein had confirmed that the retired pontiff is following Francis’s medical progress and praying for his full recovery from his residence in the Vatican.
The last medical update from the Vatican on the health of the pope came on Monday at noon Rome time, when the director of the press office Matteo Bruni said that Francis was in “good general condition, alert and breathing on his own.”
The pope was hospitalized on Sunday afternoon, and had surgery to remove part of his left colon. The Vatican had said in a statement the same day that it was a planned procedure. The surgery lasted three hours and required general anesthesia.
Before Sunday afternoon, there had been no signs of health issues from the pope, who had announced an upcoming trip to Slovakia and Hungary for mid-September at that day’s Angelus address.
Benedict is not the only religious leader who’s praying for the speedy recovery of the Argentine pope. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople wrote a message to Francis expressing his “fraternal wishes for a speedy recovery,” assuring him of his prayers. He also expressed his trust in the success of the operation, adding he hopes to meet again to continue carrying out “the indispensable mission of unity, to which Christ calls us.”
Confirming their friendship, the Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb of Al Azhar University tweeted a message wishing his “dear brother” a speedy recovery that will allow him to return to his “mission for humanity.”
Bishops conferences from around the world have also joined the choir of voices publicly expressing their support for Pope Francis. Archbishop Jose Gomez, president of the United States’ Conference of Catholic Bishops, said: “We join our brothers and sisters around the world in praying for the continued recovery of Pope Francis. Lord, may our shepherd and all those in the hospital for healing these days find strength and comfort in your love.”
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