Two days after coronary bypass surgery, Bishop Robert McElroy remains in an undisclosed hospital recovering from the open-heart procedure.
“Good news on the surgery. All went well,” said Kevin C. Eckery, a spokesman for the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese that McElroy has led since 2015.
The 67-year-old cleric was to spend a couple days in ICU after Monday’s surgery so he can be monitored, and then head to a regular room, Eckery said Wednesday.
“He’ll be in hospital four to seven days,” he said.
San Diego’s sixth bishop, seeking privacy, has asked for no visitors, Eckery told Times of San Diego. So his place of recovery isn’t being released.
News of his impending operation made at least two national publications — the National Catholic Register and National Catholic Reporter — since McElroy has been outspoken on several issues, including combating climate change and not making abortion the church’s overriding concern.
McElroy succeeded Bishop Cirilo Flores, who died in September 2014 at 66 after one year in the role. “Flores had suffered a stroke and was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer,” said the Catholic News Agency.
In a letter to diocesan priests, McElroy explained that he and his doctors began discussing surgery options following test results he received over the summer.
He anticipates returning to work after Christmas, he said.
“I have great confidence in the medical staff who are carrying out this operation and, generally patients are able to return to work in about four weeks,” McElroy said in his letter to priests. “Of course, God will be in charge of all this.”