Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Pope "fading serenely"

The Holy Father's condition has worsened overnight - he suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest and is in septic shock. The Vatican deny that he is in a coma - "This is absolute rubbish, We are not going to lower ourselves to playing these games".

His spokesman said that he received the "Holy Viaticum" communion which is reserved for those near death, and had told his aides he did not want to return to hospital for treatment. He also said that the Pope was still "conscious, lucid and tranquil" and had celebrated Mass early this morning.

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan head of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, said it was clear that the pope's condition was "very, very serious" and that the prognosis was pessimistic.

Other sources are saying that Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for the Diocese of Rome, whose job is to announce the death of the pope arrived at the Vatican this morning.

Like most Catholics, I am praying for the Pope and in perusing the news I am bewildered as to the exact state of his health - the Vatican are due to make a statement in the next hour. The Vatican are handling the situation very delicately and with grace - the Vatican is a hotbed of rumours at any time and in these last days of Pope John Paul II's pontificate it is no different. The Pope wishes, like most people, to die in his own bed, it seems and hopefully his passing will be peaceful.
His strength and serenity at this time are testament to his faith and his character, formed in the difficulties of the idealogies of the 20th century that reduced man to nothing, which the Pope has worked all his life to counter - expressing the dignity and worth of man through his words and his actions.

UPDATE - Italian state TV has suspended normal programming and is now showing tributes/pictures/sermons of the Pope. They have never done this before.


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