Pope urges ‘prudent’ choices as hospital weathers new storm

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Pope Francis, flanked at right by flanked by Mariella Enoc, president of Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital, meets children in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican during an audience with the hospital, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has urged the Vatican’s pediatric hospital to make “prudent” choices as it expands to welcome more patients.

In the wake of a new investment scandal that led to the ouster of a top manager, Francis held a special audience for Bambino Gesu staff and patients Saturday to mark the hospital’s 150th anniversary.

Hospital president Mariella Enoc referred to recent “tortuous” efforts to balance the hospital’s needs and resources, and thanked Francis for supporting her “in the most difficult moment” of her tenure.

Enoc fired her top manager in July, reportedly after he made ill-advised real estate investments.

Francis referred to “many difficulties” at the hospital, and asked that going forward it makes “choices that are courageous and rigorous and at the same time generous and prudent.”