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Pope John Paul II in “Very Grave” Condition

HeadlineApr 01, 2005

Pope John Paul II is in what the Vatican describes as very grave condition and has been administered the last rites after suffering heart failure yesterday. The 84 year old Pope reportedly decided himself not to go to the hospital. According to the Vatican, he is still “conscious, lucid and tranquil. The Vatican said that the pontiff asked aides to read him the biblical passage describing the final stage of the Way of the Cross, the path that Jesus took to his crucifixion. This latest health crisis–only a day after doctors fitted him with a feeding tube–was set off on Thursday by a urinary tract infection. That infection, the Vatican said on Thursday, caused a high fever in the already frail and weakened pope, who has suffered for more than a decade from Parkinson’s disease. The last time he is known to have been administered last rites was on May 13, 1981, after he was shot by a would-be assassin in St. Peter’s Square, almost three years after he was chosen pope. We’ll have more on the pope later in the program.

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