Bishop Robert N. Lynch, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, is "recovering nicely'' after surgery Monday. The diocese declined to give details about the procedure, saying only that it was successful. Diocesan spokesman Frank Murphy also would not say where the bishop is hospitalized and added that he is not receiving visitors.
Lynch spoke of the scheduled procedure in a July 26 blog. "In May 1995, the Lord in His love and mercy began to free me from spinal meningitis. In July of 2009 I am supremely confidant that he will do the same of whatever is growing in my colon,'' he said.
The bishop first told his flock about the impending surgery in a July 7 post, saying that nine years ago a small polyp had been "discovered, removed, analyzed and determined to be non-cancerous during a routine colonoscopy procedure.''
He said a follow-up colonoscopy on July 6 revealed a large polyp and that his gastroenterologist advised that it be removed and tested for colorectal cancer.
The doctor found that an outer portion of the polyp was not cancerous and Lynch said he was "hoping and praying for the same result when the entire mass is removed.''
Lynch expected to remain in the hospital about five to seven days. Tuesday Murphy said the bishop could return to work at the end of August.
Lynch, 68, was anointed with holy oil during Mass at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg the day before his surgery.
"All of the anxiety, all of the uncertainty of the last three weeks seemed to vanish'' with the anointing, he said in his blog.
Lynch was consecrated bishop of the diocese that covers Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties in January 1996.