DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     November 11, 1999     vol. 10, no. 214

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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PAPAL APPEARANCE BELIES RUMORS OF NEW ILLNESS

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The regular Wednesday public audience by Pope John Paul II was cancelled on November 10, in order to allow the Pontiff extra time to recover his energy after his trip to India and Georgia. But the Holy Father did appear on his balcony to greet pilgrims later in the day, disproving new rumors that he was in precarious health.

        Speaking softly, the Pope said that he was grateful to the government authorities in India and Georgia who had made his trip possible, and offered special thanks to the Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II for his "cordiality." He promised a thorough report on his "interesting trip" at his next weekly audience.

        The Pope's quick public appearance appeared to be a response to reports circulated in the Italian press, suggesting that the Holy Father's health had taken a dramatic turn for the worse during his trip November 5- 8. After the Pope was observed to be shivering noticeably for several hours after being briefly exposed to a cold rain in Tbilisi, Georgia, Italian journalists reported that he seemed "tired, weak, and in pain." But Vatican officials-- while acknowledging that the Pope's physical strength is diminishing-- insisted that he remains energetic and intellectually alert, and that the attacks of shivering were a response to fatigue and the sharp change in climate between India and Georgia.


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November 11, 1999       volume 10, no. 214
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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