18:52 GMT24 July 2021
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    The pontiff already missed several events at the beginning of this year because of health issues.

    The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been admitted to Gemelli Hospital in Rome for scheduled intestinal surgery, the Vatican said on 4 July. 

    According to the Vatican's Spokesman Matteo Bruni, the pontiff has to undergo the surgery for an intestinal condition that tends to affect older people and can cause abdominal pain. Additionally, the pope is suffering from symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, which is a condition where sac-like pouches protrude from the muscular layer of the colon, leading it to become narrow. This condition can also lead to bloating, inflammation, and difficulty with bowel movements.

    Pope Francis is said to be short of breath from time to time because a part of one of his lungs was removed following an illness when he was growing up in Argentina.

    He was also forced to cancel several engagements in 2014 – one year after he was elected – due to an apparent stomach ailment. 

    Pope Francis, Vatican
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