Pope's No. 2 released from hospital

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's new No. 2 official was released from a hospital on Friday after more than 10 days of treatment.

The Vatican has refused to say what was wrong with Monsignor Pietro Parolin, only that he underwent surgery unexpectedly in the hospital's hepatobiliary department and missed the Oct. 15 ceremony at which he was to take up his duties as secretary of state. The body's hepatobiliary system refers to the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he spoke with the 58-year-old Parolin on Friday. He said the surgery went well and that Parolin would take some time to recover at home in Italy's Veneto region and hopes to "soon" take up his responsibilities in Rome.

Parolin, a career Vatican diplomat who last served as ambassador in Venezuela, replaced Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, widely blamed for many of the Vatican's administrative problems in recent years.

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