Pope Francis 'in good condition' and 'alert' after intestinal surgery

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The Pope is "in good condition, alert and breathing on his own" after undergoing an operation that involved removing half his colon, the Vatican has said.

The three-hour procedure took place on Sunday and Francis, 84, is expected to stay in Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic for a further seven days.

The procedure came after what the Holy See said was a diverticular stenosis, or narrowing of the pope's sigmoid portion of the large intestine.

A brief medical bulletin said the pontiff was spending his first morning convalescing following the surgery on the left side of his large intestine.

Before the update the Vatican had given scant details about the operation at the Catholic hospital in the Italian capital.

An Italian cardinal told reporters he had been informed that the pope was doing well.

"Our prayer and our closeness are very great," Cardinal Enrico Feroci said at Rome's airport where he was catching a flight.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying that he had heard earlier in the morning from another cardinal, Angelo De Donatis, "and he told me that the pope is well".

Pope Francis gave the Angelus to crowds in St Peter's Square just hours before his surgery on Sunday.

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