VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis has gone to a Rome hospital for scheduled surgery for a stenosis, or restriction, of the large intestine.

The brief announcement Sunday afternoon didn’t say when the surgery would be performed but it said there would be an announcement when the surgery is complete. Just three hours earlier, Francis had cheerfully greeted the public in St. Peter’s Square in keeping with a Sunday tradition and told them he will go to Hungary and Slovakia in September.

A week earlier, Francis, 84, had used the same appearance to ask the public for special prayers for himself, which, in hindsight might have been hinting at the planned surgery at Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic.

(Story written by FRANCES D'EMILIO/AP)

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