Pope Francis this week will deliver his noontime Sunday blessing from the 10th floor of the hospital in Rome where he had a colon surgery a week ago. Francis, 84, had half of his colon removed. He continued to eat regularly and walk in the corridor after the three-hour surgery Sunday, the Vatican said. He also celebrated Mass in the papal private apartment on Thursday afternoon, “attended by all those assisting him during his hospitalization.” The Vatican said Thursday that Francis’s condition was continuing to improve. Francis is nearly a decade past the point when Catholic bishops are asked to turn in their resignation letters. He has already been pope for longer than Benedict XVI, and in December, he will turn 85. Francis is not close to stepping down. In his eight-year papacy, he has tirelessly sought to reshape the Roman Catholic Church.
In March 2015, Francis said in an interview with Mexico’s Televisa television channel that he believed he’d continue as pope for a little longer and then retire like Benedict, saying he had a “vague feeling” that “the Lord has placed me here for a short mission, and nothing more.” In a message to older people announcing this month’s World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, Francis called himself “an elderly person, like you” and said that it was important not to stop working in the faith.