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Pope skips speech, blaming breathing difficulties

Pope Francis had surgery to repair an abdominal hernia and spent nine days in hospital recovering.

Pope Francis had surgery to repair an abdominal hernia and spent nine days in hospital recovering. Photo: AP

Pope Francis has skipped reading a planned speech at a conference, saying he still had breathing problems following a hernia operation this month.

“I am still under the effects of anaesthesia, my breathing is not good,” Francis told a meeting of the Catholic Oriental Church on Thursday, saying delegates would instead receive a text of the speech.

Asked by a wellwisher how he felt, the 86-year-old pope replied: “I’m still alive.”

The pope had surgery on June 7 to repair an abdominal hernia.

He spent nine days in hospital recovering and has had a busy schedule since returning to the Vatican last Friday, including meeting the presidents of Cuba and Brazil.

He had eight events on his schedule for Thursday.

-Reuters
Topics: Pope Francis
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