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Pope had secret surgery months before resigning

Pope Benedict XVI had a heart surgery to replace his pacemaker, though the Vatican denies this influenced his resignation.

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Pope Benedict XVI meets Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of Tanzania, at his private library in 2007. (Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI underwent a secret surgery to replace his pacemaker's batteries just three months before his resignation.

Italian paper Il Sole 24 reported Tuesday that the Pope went under the knife at Pius XI Clinic in Rome for the procedure after suffering a stroke 10 years earlier, according to the Times.

The Vatican confirmed the surgery, but said it was not related to the Pontiff's decision to resign. 

"It was a routine replacement of the batteries," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said, withholding the exact date of the operation, which took place just under three months ago, the Guardian reported. "It is absolutely not a relevant procedure."

Il Sole reported that though the surgery went well and Benedict recovered sufficiently enough to give his Sunday service a day later, it had "given him pause for thought over whether or not he could continue," according to the Guardian. 

Meanwhile, the world remains glued to the search for his successor. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/culture-lifestyle/world-religion/130212/pope-secret-surgery-before-resignation