Italian journalism is buzzing with rumours about Pope Francis’ health.

The talk is of colon cancer at an fairly advanced stage.

Recently Francis did have colon surgery and reports say he lost half of his colon.

I have some experience in this area as I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease in thr kate 1980s – a coupke of years after my bust up with Daly & Co.

The doctors partly attributed my Crohns to the stress of that time.

In 1991, after the failure of steroid treatment, I had to have a bowel resection that involved removing the end of my large bowel and the beginning of my colon and involving the Ileocecal junction – the part that connects the large bowel to the colon and has the appendix attached to it. See image below.

In my case I was lucky and just lost a small section of my bowel.

Poor Francis lost quite a lot.

Again, fortunately, I met a London professor who greatly helped me and currently I have no Crohns in my bowel.

Of course he is in his 80s.


Another rumour in Rome at the moment is that Francis is to issue a new document setting out an obligatory retirement age for popes.

In this day and age it is silly to have a man in his 80s and 90s leading the church.

I think that all vlerics should have a natural retiring age of 65.

So, perhaps we shoukd have bishops and popes between the agrs of 45 and 65

I also think that a retired pope should be known as “bishop emeritus of Rome”, not pope emeritus.

On retirement popes should return to being cardinals.

Religious orders have been ooerating like this for a very long time.