Monday, February 28, 2005

Pope Recovering, Undergoing Speech Therapy

The Vatican released a statement earlier today indicating that the Pope is recovering without complications, but will remain in the hospital indefinitely to undergo speech and breathing therapy. According to the Associated Press via ABC News:
"The Holy Father's postoperative phase is taking place without complications. His general condition and biological parameters continue to be good," the Vatican communique said. "The Holy Father is eating regularly, spends some hours in an armchair and has begun exercises to rehabilitate breathing and phonation."

The therapy is aimed at improving the pope's breathing and ability to speak after last week's surgery to insert a tube in his throat to ease his second respiratory crisis in less than a month.

Read more: Vatican Says Pope Is Recovering Well

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pope Makes Appearance from Hospital Window

Pope John Paul II made a surprise appearance from his hospital window today, waving to the faithful right after a Vatican official read a statement from the pontiff on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica asking for prayers. From AP (via Yahoo News):

The 84-year-old pope was wheeled to a hospital window and blessed the crowd by making the sign of the cross in clear gestures as a Vatican photographer snapped pictures. John Paul, recovering from a throat operation to ease a breathing crisis, touched his throat during the minute-long appearance but seemed to be in decent form.

Read more: Pope Makes Surprise Appearance at Window

Friday, February 25, 2005

Pope Breathing On His Own

After spending one night in the hospital following a tracheostomy procedure to aid his breathing, the Pope seems to be recovering and is now breathing on his own. He will still be unable to speak for a few days. According to the Los Angeles Times via KTLA, Los Angeles:
The half-hour surgery, in which doctors inserted a tube through a small hole cut in the pope's neck to ease his respiratory crisis, was termed a success by a Vatican official. The pontiff was recovering in a 10th-floor suite of hospital rooms. [...]

Gianni Letta, a top aide to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, visited the pope late Thursday after the surgery and said he was "reassured" about John Paul's condition. He said the pope managed a weak wave but could not speak.

Read more: Pope Breathing on His Own Following Surgery

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pope's Tracheotomy Operation a Success!

The Pope had an operation today to insert a tube in his throat to help him breathe. The Vatican said the tracheotomy was a success: "The Holy Father is fine and will spend the night in his regular hospital room." According to Knight Ridder Washington Bureau via KFI AM 640:
Gianni Letta, spokesman for Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, visited the pope after the surgery and found him in good spirits. He said the pope gestured with his hand, his most common gesture, "as if to say I'm still going to reproach you."

Read more: Pope Suffers Breathing Problems, Undergoes Tracheotomy

Pope Sent to Hospital Again

Earlier today, Pope John Paul II was rushed to the hospital for the second time this month due to a relapse of the flu and continued breathing difficulties. Some aides have indicated that the Pope had a fever and congestion. He arrived at the hospital Gemelli in a conscious state and looked "relaxed," according to some who saw him enter. According to the Associated Press via Yahoo News:
Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pope was taken to the Rome hospital for "necessary specialized assistance and further tests." He was taken by ambulance at 10:45 a.m., officials said.

Vatican officials played down the seriousness of the hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope's age is always at risk from the flu. The pope also has Parkinson's disease (news - web sites) and crippling knee and hip ailments.

Read more: Pope Rushed to Hospital With Flu Relapse

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Pope's Book on Sale in Italy

Memory and Identity, the new book by Pope John Paul II currently on sale in Italy, is a series of chronicled conversations the Pope had with friends back in 1993. In his book, The Pope discusses many topics he has never publicly acknowledged before. David Willey of BBC News reports:
For the first time, the Pope puts on public record his belief that the shooting was commissioned by someone other than his would-be assassin, the Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca.

Read more: Pope's book confronts evil

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Heirs Of The Fisherman by John-Peter Pham

So I received my gratis copy of Heirs Of The Fisherman: Behind The Scenes Of Papal Death And Succession by John-Peter Pham in the mail yesterday. I skimmed through a few chapters and it was both interesting and pleasurable to read. Others seem to agree, as the book's score is currently 4.5/5 stars at Amazon. More on this to come.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Holy Father To Miss Ash Wednesday Services

Despite the Holy Father's increasingly good health, he is likely to stay in the clinic at least during the early days of the lenten season. The Vatican again stresses that despite his temporary absence, there are no plans for his abdecation. According to BBC NEWS:

"Amid speculation that the pontiff may resign because of illness, a Vatican official has suggested he could continue his duties even if he loses the power of speech."

Read more: Ailing Pope to miss start of Lent

Monday, February 07, 2005

Pope Gives Blessing from Hospital Window

The Pope came to his hospital window yesterday to give four almost unitelligible words of blessing to a crowd below. According to Guardian Unlimited:

The appearance, relayed on screens to crowds gathered in St Peter's Square, was the first the Pope has made since he was taken to hospital last week with breathing spasms brought on by influenza.

Sitting at an open window on the top floor of Rome's Gemelli hospital, dressed in his full white papal attire, the 84-year-old pontiff looked pale.

"Father, Son, Holy Ghost," he managed to say, in Latin, in a deep hoarse voice, while tracing the sign of the cross in the air.

Read more: Pope's four-word window blessing

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Pope's Breathing Improves (but he's still running a fever)

The Pope's condition is improving and he is not suffering from any more breathing spasms, but he will spend at least a few more days in the hospital. According to AP (via Yahoo! News):

"The Holy Father's general and respiratory conditions show a positive evolution. The pope has rested well" with no repeat of the breathing spasms that sent him to the hospital Tuesday, Navarro-Valls said. "He rested well all night, and the laboratory tests that were made give a satisfactory result."

Read more: Pope's Breathing Improves at Hospital

P.S. Everyone should give a big welcome to our new co-blogger Jayson!

Pope Has High Hopes for "World Day of the Sick"

With timing that almost seems ominous, Pope John Paul II, recently exhorted his special envoy at the 13th annual World Day to continue the new evangelization, comforting the sick, and fighting the spread of AIDS through "education that respects the sacred value of life, and through formation in a correct practice of sexuality." According to Zenit:

"Precisely we, who exercise the most authoritative task of the Successor of Peter, note well these words of the sacred Scriptures on the birth of the Apostles and, in general, try to pay special attention to the spiritual benefit of all the sick and patients," reads the letter.

"Many indeed are the faithful who are faced with sufferings and many difficulties in daily life and because of that fact, are in need of heavenly relief and consolation which is pleasing to their spirit," the Holy Father writes.

Read more: John Paul II Hopes World Day of Sick Will Aid Evangelization

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Pope to Spend a Few More Days in Hospital

The Pope will need to spend a few more days in the hospital, the Vatican said Wednesday, but his heart is functioning normally. According to AP (via Yahoo! News):

The 84-year-old pontiff had "just a little fever," papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in elaborating on a terse medical bulletin issued by the Holy See. He told Vatican radio the pope would spend "a few more days" in the hospital, but added that there was "no cause for alarm."

Read more: Pope to Spend a Few More Days in Hospital

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Pope Hospitalized With Breathing Problems

The Vatican has said that the Pope was rushed to a hospital on Tuesday night as he had difficulty breathing, due to inflammation of the throat and the flu. AP reports (via Yahoo! News):

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told The Associated Press that the decision to hospitalize the 84-year-old pontiff was "mainly a precaution."

He pointed out that the pope was not in intensive care but in the same 10th floor suite of rooms where he has been during several previous stays at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic, about 2 1/2 miles from the Vatican.

The pope has the flu and acute laryngeal tracheitis, Navarro-Valls said, acknowledging the pontiff had a "certain difficulty in breathing."

Read more: Pope Hospitalized With Breathing Problems

Pope Blog readers, I won't do this often, but I will ask for your prayers at this time. According to the article, more tests will be done and the Vatican will issue a medical report sometime after 3 a.m. EST Wednesday.