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Vatican's No. 2 released after 10-plus days in hospital, hopes to "soon" take up duties

The Vatican's new No. 2 has been released after more than 10 days in a hospital.

The Vatican has refused to say what was wrong with Monsignor Pietro Parolin, only that he underwent surgery unexpectedly and missed the Oct. 15 ceremony at which he was to take up his duties as secretary of state.

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

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