Vatican spokesman says the operation went well

Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has been released from hospital following surgery.

Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said: “Everything has gone well.”

Fr Lombardi said the surgery had taken place at the university hospital in Padua, in the archbishop’s native Veneto region of northeastern Italy. While he did not specify the nature of the surgery, he noted that it had been performed in the “hepatobiliary ward”. Hepatobiliary medicine treats illnesses involving the liver, the gallbladder and the bile ducts.

The archbishop was to have assumed his new duties earlier this month but at a welcoming ceremony at the Vatican Pope Francis surprised most people by announcing that the Secretary of State would be unable to attend because of a “small surgical intervention” that would keep him from work for a “few weeks”.

On Friday Fr Lombardi said that Archbishop Parolin would remain in the Veneto for an “appropriate period of rest and convalescence, so as to be fully restored to health when he assumes his grave new responsibilities”.