Pope Jokes ‘Some People Wanted Him Dead’ While He Was Undergoing Surgery, Reports Say
© REUTERS / DAVID W CERNYPope Francis arrives for the Holy Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows in Sastin, Slovakia, September 15, 2021
© REUTERS / DAVID W CERNY
There had previously been speculation that the 84-year-old Pope Francis could step down like his predecessor due to poor health, as he underwent surgery back in July.
Pope Francis spoke with fellow Jesuits in Bratislava on Tuesday, saying he is in good health, although some in the Vatican, as he knows, would have preferred the opposite, according to Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica.
When asked about his well-being, he answered that “he is still alive” and joked that “some people wanted him dead.”
“I know there were even meetings between prelates who thought the pope’s condition was more serious than what was said. They were preparing for the conclave,” he said. “Thank God, I’m well. Undergoing that surgery was a decision I didn’t want to take.”
The Pope noted that it was a nurse who convinced him to do the procedure, as they “sometimes understand the situation more than doctors because they are in direct contact with the patients.”
The pontiff underwent a three-hour surgery on 4 July at the Agostino Gemelli hospital in Rome. According to a press release from the Holy See, he was diagnosed with diverticular stenosis of the “sigmoid" portion of the colon.
The Vatican reported that the Pope was doing well after the operation. He spent 10 days in the hospital, returning to the Vatican on 14 July. Pope Francis claimed earlier in the interview that the thought of stepping down “didn’t even cross my mind.”