Pope’s recovery continuing well: Vatican

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Pope Francis’ recovery from intestinal surgery is continuing normally and the pontiff is walking and working but he is not well enough to return to the Vatican in time for his Sunday noon blessing there, the Vatican said on Friday.

The prayer will instead be led from Rome’s Gemelli hospital, the Vatican said, indicating that the Pope’s recuperation would last longer than expected.

There had been speculation that the 84-year-old pope could be discharged on Saturday night or Sunday morning in time for him to return to the Vatican for the Sunday noon prayer and address in St. Peter’s Square.

It will be the first time since his election in 2013 that Francis will not read the prayer from the Vatican, except for when he was away on trips.

Spokesman Matteo Bruni’s statement also said the Pope, who had part of his colon removed last Sunday, spent a quiet day with “normal clinical progress”, continued to eat regularly and continued his scheduled treatment.

The pontiff walked in the corridor and resumed his work, said Mass in the chapel of the private apartment in the hospital, and no longer had a fever.