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After surgery, Pope Francis says never considered resigning
Agence France-Presse
Posted at Sep 01 2021 07:19 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2021 07:21 PM
Pope Francis speaks during an interview with Spanish radio station COPE at the Vatican City in this picture released September 1, 2021. Carlos Herrera en COPE/Handout via Reuters
Pope Francis said the idea of resigning following his surgery earlier this year "didn't even cross my mind", in an interview broadcast Wednesday.
Rumors that the 84-year-old pontiff was considering stepping down were recently reported in Italian media, seemingly sparked by his hospitalization following an operation on his colon in July.
"I don't know where they got it from last week that I was going to resign!" he told Spanish radio Cope in a lengthy interview, saying that "it didn't even cross my mind".
"Whenever a pope is ill, there is always a breeze or a hurricane of conclave," he added, referring to the meeting of cardinals called to elect a new pope.
Francis underwent an operation on July 4 after suffering from a type of diverticulitis, an inflammation of pockets that develop in the lining of the intestine. He was discharged from hospital after 10 days.
Asked how he was feeling, the pope said, laughing: "I'm still alive." 
He said a nurse at the Vatican hospital "saved my life" by urging the pontiff to undergo surgery rather than rely on antibiotics.
"Now I can eat everything, which was not possible before with the diverticula," the pontiff said. 
"I still have the post-operative medications, because the brain has to register that it has 33 centimeters less intestine... But besides that, I have a normal life, I lead a totally normal life."
The pope is due to visit Hungary and Slovakia later this month, and in his interview also announced plans to travel to Greece, Cyprus and Malta, although he did not give a date.
He also confirmed he hopes to attend the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November, as announced by the Vatican earlier this year.
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