Pope Benedict XVI insisted on waiting his turn behind another patient when he was admitted to the hospital today for an X-ray and operation on his broken right wrist.
The Italian news agency ANSA quoted hospital sources as saying that he let a peritonitis patient awaiting surgery go ahead of him. He spent most of the day in the hospital, but has now been released.
The Pope’s operation under local anesthesia was “a complete success,” reports say, and the Holy Father will return to his summer vacation Alpine retreat. Papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the injury was “nothing serious.”
The Vatican stated earlier that Benedict had broken his wrist last night in a fall in the chalet where he is spending his summer vacation. Until July 29, he is staying in Les Combes in the Alpine region of northern Italy.
The Pope is scheduled on Sunday to recite the Angelus at a parish church in Romano Canavese, a town about 50 miles away from the chalet. Father Lombardi said it was too early to know if that plan would change.
The fracture occurred in his right wrist, so it could prevent him from writing. It had been speculated that the Pope was going to work on the next volume of his book Jesus of Nazareth during his vacation.
However, the Holy Father prefers mostly to dictate his thoughts into a recorder rather than write them down himself, so it’s unlikely to cause too much of a problem. Sadly, though, he probably won’t be able to play the piano for a while — a favorite pastime of his, especially on vacation.