U.S. church offers ‘heartfelt prayers’ for Pope Francis’ recovery

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The U.S. Catholic Church continues "to offer our heartfelt prayers and good wishes" for Pope Francis' recovery, said Archbishop José H. Gómez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"It is with gratitude that we received the news of the success of the Holy Father's surgery this past weekend," the archbishop said in a July 9 statement. "Even as he is recuperating in the hospital, our Holy Father, in his role as our shepherd has selflessly expressed his closeness to those who are sick and in most need of care."

The Vatican press office said July 9 Pope Francis has resumed working and celebrated Mass for his caregivers in the small chapel that is part of the suite of rooms reserved for the popes at Rome's Gemelli hospital. "He walked in the corridor and resumed his work, alternating it with moments of reading texts."

The pope was hospitalized July 4 for planned colon surgery, which took place that evening.

"In solidarity with the universal church, we offer our prayers for all who are ill and in need of God’s healing touch, and for those who work tirelessly in health care to bring comfort and medical care to the afflicted," Archbishop Gómez said in his statement. "Mary, Mother of Healing and Hope, intercede for us!"

Catholic bishops, clergy and laity all over the world have tweeted messages of prayer for Pope Francis and good wishes for his full recovery from his surgery. Many tweets included prayers for all those suffering from an illness.

"Lord, may our shepherd and all those in the hospital for healing in these days find strength and comfort in your love," Archbishop Gómez tweeted July 5.

On July 4, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio tweeted simply, "Pope Francis, we hold you in prayer."

Pope Francis led the midday recitation of the Angelus prayer July 11 from his room on the 10th floor of Gemelli hospital.

After running a temperature July 7, the pope's doctors performed a CT scan of his abdomen and chest the next morning, as well as routine exams to ensure that he was not suffering from an infection, a common complication of intestinal surgery. The results of the scan and exams were negative.