DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     December 15, 1998     vol. 9, no. 242

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Just two weeks before Christmas, and less than two months before his scheduled trip to Mexico and the United States, the health of Pope John Paul II has once again emerged as a major press topic, as a result of new reports in the American magazine Newsweek.

          Newsweek reported that the Pope will soon be unable to deliver his own public speeches. That report was quickly echoed by several Italian publications. Newsweek cited medical experts who remarked on the usual progress of Parkinson's disease, and said that the Pope has been showing the usual symptoms of the illness at each stage-- including the quivering of a hand, loss of control of facial muscles, an unsteady walk, and most recently a slurring of speech. The Pope is generally understood to suffer from Parkinson's disease, although the Vatican has never officially acknowledged that diagnosis. As the disease progresses, Newsweek's experts said, the Pope will soon be unable to speak in public, and will be required to ask collaborators to deliver his public talks.

          Several Italian reporters, reacting to the Newsweek article, noted that despite the obvious problems with his health, the Holy Father continues to show remarkable stamina. He has recently presided at several long public liturgical celebrations, and he attended all of the sessions of the Synod for Oceania, which concluded in Rome this weekend.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 15, 1998       volume 9, no. 242


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