Cardinal Parolin, the pope's second-in-command, assured journalists that the Holy Father will resume his duties immediately after the operation, expected to last "a few hours" under general anesthesia.
Pope Francis will continue his service “even from a hospital bed,” assured Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s Secretary of State, speaking to journalists on June 7, 2023, on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Jubilee 2025 pilgrim reception center near the Vatican.
Cardinal Parolin, “number two” of the Holy See, was responding to the announcement a few minutes earlier of Pope Francis’ hospitalization.
The Pontiff, 86, is having surgery under general anesthesia at the Gemelli Hospital this Wednesday afternoon.
“We are accompanying him with our affection, we are accompanying him with our prayer, hoping that everything can be resolved as quickly as possible and that he can return to the exercise of his ministry,” assured the Italian cardinal.
He explained that he was not prepared to comment on the medical situation or on any delegation of powers linked to the Pope’s general anesthesia, referring journalists back to the Holy See’s press release. He acknowledged that it is “difficult to understand” all the “technical terms” involved in the medical procedure.
Nevertheless, he assured that after the operation, which could last “a few hours,” Pope Francis should be able to resume exercising his ministry, “even from a hospital bed.”
“If there are things that need to be decided, they will be brought to him at the hospital,” he said.
Cardinal Parolin also said that he would be receiving Cardinal Zuppi back from his visit to Ukraine later today, and that the two Italian cardinals would report back to the Pope on the follow-up to this mission, particularly with regard to the approach the Vatican will take towards Moscow.