As the Pope’s treatment continues, his return to the Vatican to take place ‘as soon as possible’

It is unclear if the pontiff will return tomorrow, as some have suggested. In a statement released yesterday, the Holy See Press Office noted that “In order to optimise his medical and rehabilitation therapy, the Holy Father will remain in hospital for a few more days.”

Rome (AsiaNews) – The Holy See Press Office issued a statement signed by its director Matteo Bruni, saying that “The Holy Father is continuing his planned treatment and rehabilitation, which will allow him to return to the Vatican as soon as possible.”

It is unclear however if this will happen tomorrow, as some have suggested. In yesterday’s statement, the Holy See Press Office noted that “In order to optimise his medical and rehabilitation therapy, the Holy Father will remain in hospital for a few more days.”

For his part, Francis is still meeting other patients at the Gemelli University Hospital, as he did with the patients of the facility’s paediatric oncology ward, some of whom stood next to him on Sunday during the Angelus.

In today’s press release, Director Bruni goes on to say that after meeting many patients in the past few days, “he addressed a special thought to those who are bedridden and cannot return home,” expressing hope that they may “live this time as an opportunity, even if experienced in pain, to open themselves with tenderness to their sick brother or sister in the next bed, with whom they share the same human frailty.”

With the Holy father in hospital, greetings and good wishes continue to arrive in the Vatican. The latest include messages from the leaders of some Muslim countries, like the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the Prime Minister of Bahrain Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa.

On behalf of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, Rabbi David Fox Sandmel said that he had offered “fervent prayers for a rapid and complete recovery” of the Pope.

Among Catholics, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Paraguay, meeting for its 230th general assembly in Asunción, expressed its fraternal affection for and closeness to the Pope. In particular, Paraguayan bishops entrusted Francis to the protection of the Virgin of the miracles of Caacupé.

In Myanmar, Card Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar, said that he is “praying for the Lord to bless” the Pope “with many more years of life, full of grace, in order to bring comfort to the wounded world.”

The people of Myanmar, the prelate added, “are deeply touched by the constant pastoral care” shown by Francis, “particularly in the most difficult moments [. . .] bringing to the attention of the international community the anguish of this small country of ours “, in which” the lack of food and health care threatens” many human lives.

“In two dioceses, more than 100,000 displaced people depend totally on the support of the Church. The situation is very sensitive and worsening rapidly.”

Finally, the Inspectorate General of Italy’s prison chaplains, noted that “prisoners, chaplains, nuns, deacons and volunteers” all stand “by him with continuous prayers.”