Pope fractures wrist, undergoes successful surgery


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Aosta, Italy, Jul 17, 2009 / 09:44 am (CNA).- Only three days into his vacation near the Italian mountain town of Aosta, Pope Benedict XVI fell last night at his chalet and fractured his wrist. Despite the pain, the Pope celebrated Mass and had breakfast before going to the hospital on Friday morning.

The incident occurred on Thursday night when the Pope fell and slightly fractured his right wrist.

On Friday morning, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that the Holy Father "celebrated Mass and had breakfast early." He was then taken 12 miles to the town of Aosta, arriving at the local hospital at 9:45 a.m.

When the Pope arrived, other patients were waiting for X-rays and he insisted on waiting his turn, ANSA reports.

Later the Pope underwent a 20-minute operation under local anesthetic to realign the fractured fragments and reduce the fracture. Benedict was then fitted with a cast which he will have to wear for about a month.

"The Holy Father's general condition is good" added the Pope's doctor Patrizio Polisca, saying that "the Pope will return shortly to his residence."

Benedict XVI began a 16-day vacation at the Les Combes chalet on July 13 and is scheduled to only make two public appearances two pray the Angelus prayer with locals.