DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     June 15, 1999     vol. 10, no. 115

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II was stricken by a fever and confined to bed on June 15. He was unable to celebrate Mass as scheduled for the estimated 1 million people who had gathered in downtown Krakow, waiting in a steady rain.

          Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that the Pope's illness was not serious. He said the Pontiff was suffering from a flu, and "he has to listen to the doctor." The Pope remained in bed at the archbishop's residence in Krakow.

          In his 87 previous foreign trips, the Pope had never previously been forced to cancel public appearances because of illness. But there was some speculation that on this occasion John Paul would be forced to forego the remainder of his trip to Poland, and return directly to Rome. The Holy Father had made two last-minute additions to his schedule: a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Czestochowa and a personal visit to the dying leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Karekin I; those two trips are now expected to be cancelled.

          The Pope had been enthusiastically looking forward to his return to Krakow, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946, consecrated as a bishop n 1958, and installed as archbishop in 1964. During his pontificate he has visited his old archdiocese five times, and on each occasion he has received an extraordinarily warm welcome.

          Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, took the Pope's place as the principal celebrant for the Mass. Cardinal Franciszek Macharski of Krakow read the homily which the Pope had prepared.

          When the crowd gathered for the Mass heard the official announcement that the Pope was ill, there was a loud collective sigh, and many people who had been waiting patiently in the rain broke down in tears. Several thousand people surrounded the archbishop's residence after the Mass, hoping to hear some news of the Pontiff's health. They were kept at a distance, so that the noise from the crowd would not disturb the Pope's rest.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 15, 1999       volume 10, no. 115


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