Pope Francis waves during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI room in the Vatican on October 14, 2020.

Alberto Pizzoli | AFP | Getty Images

Pope Francis was hospitalized in Rome on Sunday after the Vatican was planning an operation for an abnormal narrowing of the colon of the 84-year-old Roman Catholic leader.

“This afternoon, His Holiness Pope Francis went to the A. Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, where he will undergo scheduled surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See’s press office, said in a statement.

Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing.

“The operation will be performed by Prof. Sergio Alfieri. A new medical bulletin will be issued at the end of the operation,” said Bruni.

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The Argentine-born Roman Catholic Pope was elected the first Pope from America in February 2013. He succeeded Benedict XVI, who was born in Germany and retired for reasons of age.

The announcement that Francis would be entering the hospital came just hours after the Pope made a public appearance in front of the crowds in St.

A week ago, at the same regular appearance there, Francis asked the people for special prayers for themselves. During that earlier event, he said he planned to visit Hungary and Slovakia in September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.