POPE PREPARES FOR DEATH
DEATH - 4-2-05
2:37 p.m. EST
compiled by Dee Finney
POPE JOHN PAUL II
POPE PASSED ON AT 2:37 PM EST.
Pope John Paul is Dead - Vatican
Vatican City - Pope John Paul II died on Saturday, the Vatican announced. The 84-year-old Pontiff, who had headed the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years, died at 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST), a statement said.
"The Holy Father died this evening at 21.37 in his private apartment," the statement said.
The news was immediately announced to huge crowds gathered in St Peter's Square.
John Paul will be remembered for his role in the collapse of communism in Europe and his unyielding defense of traditional Vatican doctrines as leader of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.
Huge crowds had staged a tearful vigil in St. Peter's Square, praying for a man already being dubbed by some Catholics as "John Paul the Great."
VATICAN CITY (AFP, Reuters) — Pope John Paul II is struggling between life and death after suffering a heart attack, the Vatican said yesterday after the pontiff’s condition deteriorated dramatically and he received communion for the dying.
"This morning the health of the Holy Father is very serious," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said. "Following a urinary tract infection, a septic shock with a cardio-circulatory collapse occurred."
The 84-year-old Pontiff is "conscious, lucid and serene. At 19:17 (1717 GMT) yesterday he received the Saint Viaticum," the spokesman said, referring to the rites administered to the ill when approaching death.
The Pope was immediately given "the appropriate cardio-respiratory assistance," he said. It was not clear if the Pope had been connected to a life-support machine.
It was highly unusual for the Vatican to reveal such details of the Pope’s condition, a signal that it was preparing the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics for the demise of John Paul II.
The Polish-born Pope is being treated by medical staff at the Vatican and refused to return to Rome’s Gemelli clinic where he was hospitalized twice in the past two months.
"The Holy Father’s wish to remain in his home was respected, where complete and efficient medical assistance was assured," said the spokesman.
The statement came after a dramatic night in which conflicting reports emerged on the pope’s condition, with the Vatican Radio saying his condition had stabilized while some Italian television stations reported him on his deathbed.
As news of the Pope’s crisis spreads, hundreds of followers gathered near the Vatican, some praying, some crying. Authorities had sealed off St. Peter’s square but the faithful filled the surrounding streets.
"I am scared that that’s it . . . maybe he’s dead, maybe he’s dying," said Jennifer Cole of Los Angeles in tears. "It doesn’t matter if he’s already dead, I wanted to be here anyway."
Vatican admitted Wednesday that the Pope was making a "slow" recovery following a throat operation on Feb. 24 and had to be fed through a nasal tube. Vatican sources said the Pontiff, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, had lost some 19 kilograms (42 pounds) since his operation.
The Pope reportedly has insisted that he wants to die at the Vatican.
"It was the last wish of Pope John Paul II: to not die. . . in the entrance hall of a hospital, but to end his days in dignity as a Roman pontiff, in his room overlooking St. Peter’s," daily La Repubblica wrote Friday.
Italian Cardinal Achille Silvestrini underlined Friday that the previous day’s announcement by the Vatican — which usually refrains from making alarming statements — "means that there is really a lot of fear and that maybe they want us to understand to prepare for the worst."
In an ominous sign, the lights of the Pope’s apartment were turned on and later switched off and only the lights of the papal infirmary were on early Friday.
In churches in Krakow, Poland, where the Pope studied and served as archbishop, there were at least twice the usual number of faithful attending early morning Mass on Friday.
"I didn’t sleep at all last night and I decided to come and pray again this morning before I went to work," said Teresa Ptak, about 60 years old, at St. Florian’s church, where the young Karol Wojtyla did his first pastoral work.
"He has done so much for us that I wanted to do something for him. Today only our prayers can help him," said Ptak.
At the Vatican, a handful of pilgrims gathered beneath the Apostolic Palace, which contains the papal apartments, offering up silent prayers for his health.
GMA expresses sadness over Pope’s health
By GENALYN D. KABILING
President Arroyo yesterday expressed sadness over reports Pope John Paul II appeared close to death and had received the last rites.
"We’re all very sad about his failing health. We really are very grateful to the Lord that for all those many, many years He gave us the wonderful leadership of the Pope in our Church," she said in a press conference in Zamboanga City.
The President had repeatedly called on Filipinos to pray for the ailing 84-year old Pontiff after he was hospitalized in February.
President Arroyo, a devout Catholic, made a momentous courtesy call on the Pope during a visit in Rome two years ago.
During the ten-minute visit of Arroyo and the First Family, the Pope extended his love for the Philippines and the Filipinos, and even recalled his 1995 visit in the Philippines for the World Youth Day that drew a huge emotional crowd of some five million.
The Pope was originally scheduled to make another visit to Manila in 2003 for the World Meeting of Families but the trip was canceled due to health reasons. Around 83 percent of Filipinos are Roman Catholics.
Prayers from world’s Catholics for ailing pope
ROME (AFP) — Faithful from around the world prayed for Pope John Paul II as the one-billion strong Roman Catholic community awoke Friday to alarming news of the 84-year-old Pontiff’s rapidly deteriorating health.
Several hundred worshippers gathered at St. Peter’s Square under heavy police presence to await news of the pope, who received the rites administered to the ill when approaching death after his health took a dramatic turn for the worse.
"I’m in anguish going through this. I learned that the pope was very sick during the night, while I was at work, and I came straight here," said a Roman citizen in his 50s.
"I’m not a believer but I felt the need to come here anyway, in the face of so much suffering," said another young man.
Special masses were scheduled across the Philippines, local bishops said, as Cardinal Jaime Sin, the most influential clergyman in the Philippines, urged people to pray for the ailing spiritual leader.
"Let us entrust our Holy Father to the Lord of life," Sin said in a statement.
"We pray for God’s guidance and strength in this difficult time. We continue to pray for the Pope," said Sin, who has been struggling with his own kidney-related health problems in recent years.
Other bishops in the Philippines said they would offer masses for the pope.
In France, the Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-Trois called on all parishes to pray for the Pontiff.
"This morning we have learned of a serious aggravation of the Pope’s condition. As John Paul II made a pilgrimage last summer to Lourdes, we entrust him to the intervention of Our Lady of Lourdes," Vingt-Trois said.
Mexico’s Catholic bishops said in a statement that "the traveling Pope . . . is ready to take the most important trip of his pontificate, the trip to the home of the Holy Father."
Reports were so pessimistic that the Mexican Senate, acting on erroneous information that the Pope had died, held a minute of silence Thursday in honor of the Pontiff.
"The floor of the Mexican Senate expresses its sorrow to the world," Senate President Diego Fernandez de Cevallos said, announcing the minute of silence.
He later informed the senators of the mistake.
Churches stayed open late into the night in the Pope’s native Poland as news of the crisis swept the overwhelmingly Catholic country.
Religious leaders in Poland urged the faithful not to "be overcome by dark thoughts," with Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek saying: "Let’s not panic. Let’s remain calm."
Jozef Zycinski, the archbishop of the southeast Polish town of Lublin, said: "When we think of all he has accomplished, we have more than one reason to be happy."
In the United States, followers flocked to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Roman Catholic bastion in New York.
"I think he is a very special man, not only for the Church but for the world. I am very saddened," said Aedmar Kelly, who attended one early evening mass and said she would return later in the night to pray for the Pope.
Father Eugene Kiely, who was visiting New York from County Kerry in Ireland, said: "We should all be praying for him, for all he has done and for his inspiration."
A leading Catholic clergyman in Peru, Juan Jose Larraneta, urged Catholics to "come together in prayer for Pope John Paul II, who is living the final stage of his life."
Asian Catholics pray for ailing Pope
MANILA (Reuters) — Millions of Roman Catholics in Asia packed churches and held vigils on Friday to pray for Pope John Paul as the Vatican said the ailing Pontiff’s condition was "very grave."
"He is getting worse, we have to face it," said Rey Caluba, the parish priest of the Redemptorist Church in Manila.
"We are praying for his health in these days of illness. But we are prepared for the worst."
The Vatican said the 84-year-old Pope was in a "very grave" condition on Friday and appeared close to death after suffering heart failure.
His health deteriorated sharply on Thursday, suffering a very high fever caused by a urinary infection.
In Australia, home to about five million Catholics, people gathered across the country, including several hundred at Sydney’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.
"Pope John Paul is one of the great men of our time, and we are praying for him as his health continues to cause concern," said Bishop Julian Porteous of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
On Nias island, devastated by a massive earthquake that hit northwestern Indonesia on Monday, the area’s mainly Christian residents were cut off from news about the Pope’s condition as they struggled to cope with the disaster.
"I am sure he is praying for us too," said Richard Hulu, a Catholic brother in a nation that is mostly Muslim.
Church officials in South Korea said there were no plans on the national level for vigils by the country’s 4.5 million Catholics, but some parishes were holding prayer sessions.
Father Surachai Chumsriphan, secretary of the Bangkok Archdiocese, said the 300,000 Catholics in largely Buddhist Thailand shared the concerns of the faithful around the world.
"We respect him as the representative of God and we are upset about his health," he said.
In communist Vietnam, many of the eight million Catholics who make up the second-largest community in Asia after the Philippines were following news closely about the Pope.
"We call on our Christians to pray for him," said Archbishop Monsignor Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of the Hanoi Archdiocese.
Catholic faithful enjoined to pray fervently
By LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
The Catholic faithful were yesterday enjoined by church leaders in the Philippines to pray more fervently for the Holy Father after the Pontiff’s condition was said to have worsened.
Reports from the wires yesterday disclosed that the Pope’s condition, was "very grave" after he was said to have suffered from cardiocirculatory collapse and septic shock.
Earlier, the Pope was also said to have received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick formerly known as extreme unction, the sacrament given to patients who are seriously ill and are near death.
As expected, such reports elicited concern in different parts of the world including that of the very influential Catholic Church leaders in the Philippines.
"We entrust the Pope whom Filipinos love with special affection to the will of God. The sufferings he patiently undertook are most valued as he united his pain with the Paschal Mystery of Christ for the Catholic flock and the rest of the world," Monsignor Hernando Coronel, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) spokesman said.
"We enjoin all to be vigilant and watchful, offering prayers for the Pope we care for," he said.
Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales said the prayers that the faithful are offering for the Pope are an expression of their deep love for the Holy Father.
"We all love the Holy Father and we, Filipinos, have a very special place in his heart," he said.
"Let this be an expression of our deep love for the Holy Father and for the Church he has generously and courageously guided and served," the prelate added.
Jaime Cardinal Sin, one of the cardinals who elected the Pontiff in 1978, also gave his message yesterday.
Sin urged the faithful to entrust the Holy Father to the Lord of life.
"We pray for God’s guidance and strength at this difficult time. We continue to pray for the Pope," he said.
With the summons from the bishops and priests, different parishes and religious organizations are currently holding prayer vigils and holy hours for the Pope’s intention.
Such activities are expected to go on until news that the Pope’s condition has finally improved.
The third longest serving Pope in the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II has visited the country twice — in 1981 for the beatification of San Lorenzo Ruiz and in 1995 for the World Youth Day.
These are really unforgettable moments for the Filipino people because these are times wherein the nation was able to show to the whole world how much they love the now 84-year-old Pontiff.
This is no longer surprising since 80 five percent of the country’s population is Roman Catholic.
At present, many still await the news on the latest development on the Holy Father’s condition.
From Poland to RP, faithful united in prayer
By KRZYSZTOF KOPACZ
WADOWICE, Poland (AP) — Tearful Roman Catholics across the world, from blue-collar workers in Poland to monks in the Norwegian Arctic and parishioners in the Philippines, prayed Friday for Pope John Paul II amid fading hopes that he would recover.
In Wadowice, the southern Polish town where the Pope grew up, people abandoned school and work to pray in the town’s church after the health of the nation’s best-known son took a dramatic turn for the worse.
"The only way we can help him is by prayer," said 17-year-old Danuta Chowaniec, one of the worshippers at St. Mary’s Church, where the Pope — Karol Wojtyla — was baptized. "In spite of these alarming statements from the Vatican, that he is really worse, I still hope he improves."
Krystian Zajac, 47, a plumbing company employee, came to the church in tears.
"This situation is so difficult. I took time off from work to come and pray," he said. "This is the will of God, we just have to pray, everything is in the hands of God."
The Vatican said the 84-year-old Pontiff suffered heart failure during treatment for a urinary tract infection and was in "very serious" condition. However, the Vatican denied an Italian news agency’s report that he was in a coma.
At a tiny cloister on the Lofoten Islands, off northwestern Norway and about 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, three Polish monks prayed for the Pope.
"We pray for him as we do every day," said Dariusz Banasiak, superior of the Cister Monastery near Stamsund on the islands. "Our prayers are more intense today, with what we feel in our hearts. We pray that the will of God is carried out."
The strong emotional bond between the Pope and his compatriots also was in evidence in Warsaw, where worshippers streamed in and out of churches.
"I never cried before. I don’t go to church, I don’t believe in priests or in God in the way he is presented," said Wojtek Wisniewski, an unemployed 40-year-old, as he left Warsaw’s All Saint’s Church. "But I believe in the Pope. I love him. He is a saint. He understands people like me and speaks to us. There will never be another person like him."
Sympathy crossed religious boundaries for John Paul, who has worked for better relations with both Jews and Muslims. Muslims in France were praying for the Pontiff, leading French Muslim Dalil Boubakeur said, describing him as a "man of peace."
"For us Muslims, he is a man of God, a man who wanted to serve God by serving humanity," said Boubakeur, who is president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
In London, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the archbishop of Westminster, reflected on the "extraordinary papacy" of John Paul.
"In some way he’s moved the role of ... his ministry very much, not just for Roman Catholics, not even for fellow Christians ... but other faiths, indeed the whole world," Murphy-O’Connor told reporters. "He’s been a moral voice, and in that sense I think the papacy and what it represents has an even more significant role in the world than it ever had before."
In the Philippines’ capital, Manila, Linda Nicol had tears streaming down her face after she and her husband, Romy, said prayers.
"Hopefully he can be given a longer life. He is really well-loved by the people," Nicol said.
In Los Angeles, parishioners at a Polish parish that the Pope visited in 1976 — two years before he was elected pope — prayed for a quick recovery and reminisced about his appearance as an energetic cardinal.
The Rev. Bogdan Molenda, pastor of Our Lady of the Bright Mount, recalled being blessed by the Pope in 1983 while he was a deacon at the Polish archdiocese Poznan.
"I feel the same as if my own father was sick," Molenda said as he prepared for a Mass. "We are all praying, but our trust is in God’s hands
Pope Said Conscious, in Grave Condition
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II suffered heart failure and is in "very grave" condition, the Vatican said Friday, but it said he was lucid and spent the morning celebrating Mass and receiving top aides, asking one to read him the biblical account of Christ's crucifixion and burial.
Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls choked up with tears as he told reporters about the pope's worsening condition. He said the 84-year-old pontiff had been "informed of the gravity of his situation" and decided to remain in his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square, where thousands of pilgrims gathered to pray for him.
John Paul participated in Mass and received some top aides Friday morning, Navarro-Valls said.
"The pope is still lucid, fully conscious and extraordinarily serene," Navarro-Valls said. He said the pope had unstable blood pressure and remained in "very grave" condition.
The critically ill pope appointed a large number of bishops and other church officials, the Holy See said in an afternoon statement that gave no new information about his condition.
Among the top church officials who gathered at his bedside was Archbishop Paolo Sardi, the Vatican vice chamberlain who runs the Holy See between the death of a pope and the election of a new one.
Thousands stood vigil on the square outside, many tearfully gazing up at his third-floor window, and millions more around the world paused to pray for him.
In Wadowice, Poland, people left school and work early and headed to church to pray for their native son.
"I want him to hold on, but it is all in God's hands now," said 64-year-old Elzbieta Galuszko at the church where the pope was baptized in Wadowice, southern Poland. "We can only pray for him so he can pull through these difficult moments."
In the Philippines, tears streamed down the face of Linda Nicol as she and her husband asked God to grant John Paul "a longer life." Muslims in France were praying for the pontiff because he was a "man of peace," said Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
Navarro-Valls said John Paul asked aides to read him the biblical passage describing the final stage of the Way of the Cross, the path that Christ took to his crucifixion. In that stage, according to the Bible, Christ's body was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a linen shroud and placed in his tomb.
Navarro-Valls said the pope followed attentively and made the sign of the cross.
"This is surely an image I have never seen in these 26 years," Navarro-Valls said. Choking up, he walked out of the room.
John Paul's health declined sharply Thursday when he developed a high fever brought on by the infection.
On Thursday afternoon, the pope suffered heart failure and a condition called "septic shock" during treatment for the infection, the Vatican said Friday, but it denied an Italian news report that he was in a coma.
The pope received the sacrament for the sick and dying on Thursday evening. Formerly called the last rites, the sacrament is often misunderstood as signaling imminent death. It is performed both for patients at the point of death and for those who are very sick — and it may be repeated.
The Rome daily La Repubblica reported Friday that the sacrament was administered by John Paul's closest aide, Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who serves as his private secretary. Dziwisz had given the pontiff the same sacrament on Feb. 24 just before the pope underwent a tracheotomy to insert a breathing tube in his throat at the Gemelli Polyclinic, the newspaper said.
Italy's Apcom news agency reported Friday morning that the pontiff had fallen into a coma, but the Vatican dismissed the report.
Among the aides John Paul received Friday were Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's No. 2 official; Undersecretary of State Archbishop Leonardo Sandri; the pope's vicar for Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini; his doctrinal chief, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; the Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo; and American Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the governor of Vatican City.
The pontiff was attended to in his apartment by the Vatican medical team, and provided with "all the appropriate therapeutic provisions and cardio-respiratory assistance," the Holy See said.
It said the pope was being helped by his personal doctor, two intensive care doctors, a cardiologist, an ear, nose and throat specialist and two nurses.
Heart failure occurs when the heart no longer has the strength to pump blood through the body, and is a sign that the body's cardiac system is failing.
Dr. Paolo Nardini, a Rome physician who is not part of the pope's team, said a heart attack affects only the heart, while heart failure signals a "breakdown of the entire system, basically uncurable."
Dr. Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said septic shock "puts a phenomenal strain on the heart."
In a statement Friday, Weissberg said that "those already suffering from heart disease — including those with heart failure — are even more susceptible to septic shock. Infection triggers a profound loss of blood pressure, depriving organs around the body of their vital blood supply and putting an enormous strain on the heart."
Even the fittest patients need special care and medicine to survive, he said.
Ruini said he visited John Paul early Friday and found him "profoundly serene and fully lucid."
"I prayed with him for a moment which profoundly moved me. Certainly the pope has completely left himself in God's hands. I invite all Romans and Italians to intensify prayers for him in this moment," Ruini told private TG5 television.
He asked Italians to pray for John Paul, and said a special Mass for the pope would be held at 7 p.m. at the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The patriarch of Venice, Cardinal Angelo Scola, also planned a Mass in St. Mark Basilica at the same time.
Hospitalized twice last month following two breathing crises, and fitted with a breathing tube and a feeding tube, John Paul has become a picture of suffering.
His 26-year papacy has been marked by its call to value the aged and to respect the sick, subjects the pope has turned to as he battles Parkinson's disease and crippling knee and hip ailments.
It is not clear who would be empowered to make medical decisions for an unconscious pope. The Vatican has officially declined to comment whether John Paul has left written instructions.
Pope takes turn for the
Vatican City - Pope John Paul II has a high fever caused by an infection in his urinary tract, Vatican spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls said on Thursday.
"The Holy Father has been struck during the day by a high fever caused by an infection of the urinary tract," he said.
"He is being treated with an appropriate therapy based on anti-biotics. His clinical state is being very closely controlled by the medical team of the Vatican which is treating him," it said.
Earlier the Italian news agency Ansa said the Pope's health had worsened over the past few hours and that he had a high fever and low blood pressure.
Earlier on Thursday the Vatican said the 84-year-old Polish-born pontiff had lost 19kg in a few weeks and there is great concern over his chances of recovery after undergoing a throat operation on February 24.
The Pope also suffers from Parkinson's disease.
**There is to be a war/invasion of Italy after wars
or disturbances have been started in Turkey and Greece, Yugoslavia with
Slovakia and Austria, and Egypt with Saudi Arabia, all the different
countries along the Baltic and even in Georgia, and also including
Lebanon, Israel, Syria and other countries.
From a radio interview Father Wingate, on March 16, 2005, stated that the election of a new Pope will be set up in advance and held by FAX, since the Cardinals will not be able to get to the Vatican. The new Pope will be called 'The Anti-Prophet". He will be aware that this is illegal and part of the prophecy. It will be like a coup.
After he will be healed of his illness as a sign from God, there will be a short time before he has to flee.
When the Vatican is invaded after the wars mentioned above, they will try to assassinate him.
He will go into exile and be declared dead. He will be in exile for 8 to 10 months. The successor will be illegally appointed against the rulings already set up. They will set up an empty closed coffin to tell the people he is dead.
Several places are already set up to receive the Pope when this prophecy comes to pass. The Pope will use bi-location to appear in various places around the world to show he is alive.
The Office of the Pope will no longer be valid when this happens and comes to pass.
Pope Rushed to Hospital With Flu Relapse2-24-05
By VICTOR SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul (news
sites) II was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance for the second
time in a month Thursday after suffering fever and congestion from a
recurrence of the flu, the Vatican (news
The 84-year-old pontiff had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis
that sent him to Gemelli Polyclinic on Feb. 1, a Vatican official said
on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, the pope made his longest
public appearance since being discharged from the clinic two weeks ago.
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
sites) and crippling knee and hip ailments.
But aides said the pope had a fever, congestion and had suffered a
recurrence of breathing problems.
Medical experts who have not examined the pope but are familiar with
elderly Parkinson's patients say his symptoms appeared to be consistent
"It appears the pope is suffering from pneumonia, likely a
bacterial pneumonia, a serious problem for a man of his age with
Parkinson's," said Dr. Barbara Paris, chairwoman of geriatrics and
vice-chairwoman of Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the pope arrived conscious
at Gemelli in a private ambulance. He was taken inside in a stretcher,
the report said, and quoted people who saw him enter the hospital as
saying his face looked "quite relaxed." The news agency said
he did not need a tube inserted into his windpipe to assist breathing.
A medical health bulletin was to be issued Friday morning, and no
details on the pope's health were expected to be released before that,
the Vatican said. Thursday's hospitalization was the pope's eighth since
his election in 1978.
The pope's illness drew concern around the world.
The U.S. administration wished him a speedy recovery.
"We hope the pope recovers as soon as possible. He's in our
thoughts and prayers," White House spokesman Fred Jones said.
In the pope's hometown of Wadowice, in southern Poland, worshippers
offered prayers at an afternoon Mass in St. Mary's church, where the
young Karol Wojtyla was baptized.
"This is very emotional moment for me," said Zdzislaw
Szczur, 54, the head of the Wadowice branch of Solidarity, the trade
union best known abroad for its struggle in the 1980s to bring down
communism. "His suffering really moves me. It's all God's
Tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square expressed alarm.
"I'm sure he wants to return to the Vatican because he has spent
so much time there," said Ornella Lisandrello, 29, an Italian
physician. "I'm sure he would like to die at the Vatican."
The pope's breathing problems can complicate the swallowing
difficulties characteristic of Parkinson's disease. The lack of
coordination of the muscles involved make it easy for food or saliva to
get into the lungs. That can cause pneumonia and is one of the most
common causes of death among Parkinson's patients.
Doctors sometimes bypass the throat by inserting a feeding tube
directly into the stomach, both to help patients who have difficulty
eating and to help prevent food going down to the lungs.
The muscle problems and the pope's stooped posture also could make
it difficult for him to head off infections by mustering a powerful
enough cough to shake mucus out of the lungs.
Rome has been particularly cold, wet and windy in recent days. The
pope has twice appeared at his open studio window to address crowds in
St. Peter's Square since his Feb. 10 discharge from the hospital, where
he had been treated for breathing difficulties following a bout with the
But the pope failed to show up Thursday morning for a scheduled
meeting on new candidates for sainthood. No explanation was given for
his absence and the ceremony went ahead, presided by the Vatican's No. 2
official, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
The Vatican released a letter the pope had sent for the
canonization ceremony, saying that "for reasons of caution,"
he had been advised to follow it from his apartment by closed-circuit
television — an indication that the decision to take him to the
hospital was made suddenly.
The pope had been convalescing after his hospitalization but had
appeared to be making a rebound. At each new public appearance, he
appeared stronger, more alert, and his voice was clearer.
On Wednesday, the pope wheezed and looked gaunt but managed to
make his longest public appearance since leaving the hospital.
The Vatican originally had planned for the frail pontiff to
address pilgrims in St. Peter's Square from his apartment window but
decided instead on a video hookup because of the rain and winds.
In all, the pope followed the audience for 30 minutes — the most
he has appeared in public since returning from the hospital. Fully
alert, he waved and gave his blessing at the end.
When John Paul was discharged from the hospital, the Vatican made
clear he would decide on his schedule in consultation with his doctors.
Because of his ailments, there has long been speculation that John
Paul might consider resigning. That debate was fueled during his earlier
hospitalization when Cardinal Sodano declined to rule out that
possibility, saying it was up to the pope's "conscience."
The Gemelli Polyclinic has taken in John Paul so often that it has
been dubbed by the Italian press as "The Third Vatican," after
the seat of the Holy See on St. Peter's Square and the pope's summer
residence in the town of Castel Gandolfo.
The hospital has a suite on the 10th floor that includes a chapel,
kitchen and sleeping quarters for his longtime aide.
In 1981, the pope was shot in the abdomen and hand in a shooting
attack by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square. He spent
20 days at Gemelli after undergoing surgery.
The Gemelli clinic was under tight security Thursday.
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul (news
sites) II underwent a successful operation to insert a tube in his
throat to relieve his breathing problems, hours after he was rushed back
to the hospital Thursday for the second time in a month with flu-like
symptoms of fever and congestion, the Vatican (news
sites) said. Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the tracheotomy lasted 30
minutes and the outcome was "positive." The pope had approved
the procedure, which the Vatican characterized as elective.
The frail, 84-year-old pontiff, who was taken to the hospital
shortly before 11 a.m. in an ambulance, will be spending the night in
the hospital, Navarro-Valls said.
But the tracheotomy may require a longer hospital stay and have
serious consequences for the pope's abilities to carry out his duties
since he will not be able to speak while the breathing tube is in his
throat. Before the tracheotomy, outside medical experts had said John Paul
may have pneumonia. But Navarro-Valls' statement made no reference to
pneumonia, saying the pope suffered a narrowing of his larynx.
The pope's sudden turn for the worse alarmed the faithful from
Nigeria to the Philippines to St. Peter's Square, and raised more doubts
about his ability to carry on.
"We have prayed for the pope to live as long as possible so
we can still share our joy with him," said Zofia Gebala, a
73-year-old retiree, as she left a church in Wadowice, the pope's
birthplace in southern Poland. "We are praying for him every day,
for his well-being. But it's all in God's hands now."
John Paul, who suffers from Parkinson's disease (news
sites), had greeted pilgrims twice at the window of his studio at
St. Peter's Square since his release from Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital on
Feb. 10. On Wednesday, he made his longest public appearance — 30
minutes — since he fell ill more than three weeks ago. With each successive appearance, he seemed a little stronger, a
little more alert, and his voice rang out with greater clarity.
That made Thursday's reversal all the more shocking for the
"We are so scared because he has been sick in the past,"
said Vanessa Animo Bono, 32, a Roman Catholic being treated at Gemelli.
"He is one of the few popes who is actually able to listen to
Earlier Thursday, Vatican officials said the pope was suffering
breathing problems similar to those that sent him to Gemelli on Feb. 1,
and Italian news reports said the latest respiratory crisis was more
severe than the first.
Papal officials played down the seriousness of the
hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope's age is always at risk
from the flu. Vatican aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
the pope had a fever and congestion in addition to the breathing
ANSA reported the pope was conscious when he arrived at Gemelli
and that he was sitting upright in a stretcher. According to the report,
people who saw him enter the hospital said his face looked "quite
Vatican officials had said the pope suffered from a "syndrome
of influenza." Chile's ambassador to the Holy See, Maximo Pacheco, told The
Associated Press that the pope suffered a "bad relapse,"
citing a conversation he had with the Vatican's secretary of state,
Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
But outside experts said people don't get a relapse of influenza
itself. Instead, flu can lead to a bacterial infection such as pneumonia
or bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the tubes that carry air into
the lungs, or to congestive heart failure, a treatable condition in
which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
It's also possible that the pope's earlier illness was not
influenza but a flu-like infection, or that John Paul has caught a cold
or genuine influenza if he didn't have it before or if he encountered a
different strain of influenza virus.
Thursday's hospitalization was the pope's eighth since his
election in 1978.
The pope's common touch and his willingness to travel to remote
places, despite serious health problems that include knee and hip
ailments, make him much loved among Catholics.
As with the previous hospitalization, which lasted 10 days, the
latest was certain to fuel speculation about whether he could continue
as pope, and what would happen if he was incapacitated.
In the clearest sign that the Vatican may be taking the
eventuality of papal resignation seriously, Vatican No. 2 Cardinal
Angelo Sodano declined to rule out the possibility during John Paul's
first hospitalization this month, saying it was up to the pope's
The news spread quickly, with the pope's illness flashed on
television just as news shows were ending in the Philippines. Church
officials relayed a prayer request to the faithful by text message on
their cell phones.
Brigid Nolan, 73, saw the news on television in Dublin, Ireland,
and walked to St. Columba's church. She lit a candle and offered a
five-minute prayer for the pope and her own struggle with Parkinson's.
"I do draw inspiration from his own fight for life," she
said. "He is suffering, but he's surviving, and more power to him.
I get angry when people say he should quit. He should keep going for
every minute God gives him."
Tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square expressed alarm.
"I'm sure he wants to return to the Vatican because he has
spent so much time there," said Ornella Lisandrello, 29, an Italian
physician. "I'm sure he would like to die at the Vatican."
In the pope's hometown of Wadowice, worshippers offered prayers at
St. Mary's church, where the young Karol Wojtyla was baptized.
"This is a very emotional moment for me," said Zdzislaw
Szczur. "His suffering really moves me. It's all God's providence
The 84-year-old pontiff had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis that sent him to Gemelli Polyclinic on Feb. 1, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, the pope made his longest public appearance since being discharged from the clinic two weeks ago.
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.
But aides said the pope had a fever, congestion and had suffered a recurrence of breathing problems.
Medical experts who have not examined the pope but are familiar with elderly Parkinson's patients say his symptoms appeared to be consistent with pneumonia.
"It appears the pope is suffering from pneumonia, likely a bacterial pneumonia, a serious problem for a man of his age with Parkinson's," said Dr. Barbara Paris, chairwoman of geriatrics and vice-chairwoman of Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the pope arrived conscious at Gemelli in a private ambulance. He was taken inside in a stretcher, the report said, and quoted people who saw him enter the hospital as saying his face looked "quite relaxed." The news agency said he did not need a tube inserted into his windpipe to assist breathing.
A medical health bulletin was to be issued Friday morning, and no details on the pope's health were expected to be released before that, the Vatican said. Thursday's hospitalization was the pope's eighth since his election in 1978.
The pope's illness drew concern around the world.
The U.S. administration wished him a speedy recovery.
"We hope the pope recovers as soon as possible. He's in our thoughts and prayers," White House spokesman Fred Jones said.
In the pope's hometown of Wadowice, in southern Poland, worshippers offered prayers at an afternoon Mass in St. Mary's church, where the young Karol Wojtyla was baptized.
"This is very emotional moment for me," said Zdzislaw Szczur, 54, the head of the Wadowice branch of Solidarity, the trade union best known abroad for its struggle in the 1980s to bring down communism. "His suffering really moves me. It's all God's providence now."
Tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square expressed alarm.
"I'm sure he wants to return to the Vatican because he has spent so much time there," said Ornella Lisandrello, 29, an Italian physician. "I'm sure he would like to die at the Vatican."
The pope's breathing problems can complicate the swallowing difficulties characteristic of Parkinson's disease. The lack of coordination of the muscles involved make it easy for food or saliva to get into the lungs. That can cause pneumonia and is one of the most common causes of death among Parkinson's patients.
Doctors sometimes bypass the throat by inserting a feeding tube directly into the stomach, both to help patients who have difficulty eating and to help prevent food going down to the lungs.
The muscle problems and the pope's stooped posture also could make it difficult for him to head off infections by mustering a powerful enough cough to shake mucus out of the lungs.
Rome has been particularly cold, wet and windy in recent days. The pope has twice appeared at his open studio window to address crowds in St. Peter's Square since his Feb. 10 discharge from the hospital, where he had been treated for breathing difficulties following a bout with the flu.
But the pope failed to show up Thursday morning for a scheduled meeting on new candidates for sainthood. No explanation was given for his absence and the ceremony went ahead, presided by the Vatican's No. 2 official, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
The Vatican released a letter the pope had sent for the canonization ceremony, saying that "for reasons of caution," he had been advised to follow it from his apartment by closed-circuit television — an indication that the decision to take him to the hospital was made suddenly.
The pope had been convalescing after his hospitalization but had appeared to be making a rebound. At each new public appearance, he appeared stronger, more alert, and his voice was clearer.
On Wednesday, the pope wheezed and looked gaunt but managed to make his longest public appearance since leaving the hospital.
The Vatican originally had planned for the frail pontiff to address pilgrims in St. Peter's Square from his apartment window but decided instead on a video hookup because of the rain and winds.
In all, the pope followed the audience for 30 minutes — the most he has appeared in public since returning from the hospital. Fully alert, he waved and gave his blessing at the end.
When John Paul was discharged from the hospital, the Vatican made clear he would decide on his schedule in consultation with his doctors.
Because of his ailments, there has long been speculation that John Paul might consider resigning. That debate was fueled during his earlier hospitalization when Cardinal Sodano declined to rule out that possibility, saying it was up to the pope's "conscience."
The Gemelli Polyclinic has taken in John Paul so often that it has been dubbed by the Italian press as "The Third Vatican," after the seat of the Holy See on St. Peter's Square and the pope's summer residence in the town of Castel Gandolfo.
The hospital has a suite on the 10th floor that includes a chapel, kitchen and sleeping quarters for his longtime aide.
In 1981, the pope was shot in the abdomen and hand in a shooting attack by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square. He spent 20 days at Gemelli after undergoing surgery.
The Gemelli clinic was under tight security Thursday.
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II underwent a successful operation to insert a tube in his throat to relieve his breathing problems, hours after he was rushed back to the hospital Thursday for the second time in a month with flu-like symptoms of fever and congestion, the Vatican (news - web sites) said.
Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the tracheotomy lasted 30 minutes and the outcome was "positive." The pope had approved the procedure, which the Vatican characterized as elective.
The frail, 84-year-old pontiff, who was taken to the hospital shortly before 11 a.m. in an ambulance, will be spending the night in the hospital, Navarro-Valls said.
But the tracheotomy may require a longer hospital stay and have serious consequences for the pope's abilities to carry out his duties since he will not be able to speak while the breathing tube is in his throat.
Before the tracheotomy, outside medical experts had said John Paul may have pneumonia. But Navarro-Valls' statement made no reference to pneumonia, saying the pope suffered a narrowing of his larynx.
The pope's sudden turn for the worse alarmed the faithful from Nigeria to the Philippines to St. Peter's Square, and raised more doubts about his ability to carry on.
"We have prayed for the pope to live as long as possible so we can still share our joy with him," said Zofia Gebala, a 73-year-old retiree, as she left a church in Wadowice, the pope's birthplace in southern Poland. "We are praying for him every day, for his well-being. But it's all in God's hands now."
John Paul, who suffers from Parkinson's disease (news - web sites), had greeted pilgrims twice at the window of his studio at St. Peter's Square since his release from Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital on Feb. 10. On Wednesday, he made his longest public appearance — 30 minutes — since he fell ill more than three weeks ago.
With each successive appearance, he seemed a little stronger, a little more alert, and his voice rang out with greater clarity.
That made Thursday's reversal all the more shocking for the faithful.
"We are so scared because he has been sick in the past," said Vanessa Animo Bono, 32, a Roman Catholic being treated at Gemelli. "He is one of the few popes who is actually able to listen to people."
Earlier Thursday, Vatican officials said the pope was suffering breathing problems similar to those that sent him to Gemelli on Feb. 1, and Italian news reports said the latest respiratory crisis was more severe than the first.
Papal officials played down the seriousness of the hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope's age is always at risk from the flu. Vatican aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the pope had a fever and congestion in addition to the breathing problems.
ANSA reported the pope was conscious when he arrived at Gemelli and that he was sitting upright in a stretcher. According to the report, people who saw him enter the hospital said his face looked "quite relaxed."
Vatican officials had said the pope suffered from a "syndrome of influenza."
Chile's ambassador to the Holy See, Maximo Pacheco, told The Associated Press that the pope suffered a "bad relapse," citing a conversation he had with the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
But outside experts said people don't get a relapse of influenza itself. Instead, flu can lead to a bacterial infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the tubes that carry air into the lungs, or to congestive heart failure, a treatable condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
It's also possible that the pope's earlier illness was not influenza but a flu-like infection, or that John Paul has caught a cold or genuine influenza if he didn't have it before or if he encountered a different strain of influenza virus.
Thursday's hospitalization was the pope's eighth since his election in 1978.
The pope's common touch and his willingness to travel to remote places, despite serious health problems that include knee and hip ailments, make him much loved among Catholics.
As with the previous hospitalization, which lasted 10 days, the latest was certain to fuel speculation about whether he could continue as pope, and what would happen if he was incapacitated.
In the clearest sign that the Vatican may be taking the eventuality of papal resignation seriously, Vatican No. 2 Cardinal Angelo Sodano declined to rule out the possibility during John Paul's first hospitalization this month, saying it was up to the pope's conscience.
The news spread quickly, with the pope's illness flashed on television just as news shows were ending in the Philippines. Church officials relayed a prayer request to the faithful by text message on their cell phones.
Brigid Nolan, 73, saw the news on television in Dublin, Ireland, and walked to St. Columba's church. She lit a candle and offered a five-minute prayer for the pope and her own struggle with Parkinson's.
"I do draw inspiration from his own fight for life," she said. "He is suffering, but he's surviving, and more power to him. I get angry when people say he should quit. He should keep going for every minute God gives him."
Tourists and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square expressed alarm.
In the pope's hometown of Wadowice, worshippers offered prayers at St. Mary's church, where the young Karol Wojtyla was baptized.
"This is a very emotional moment for me," said Zdzislaw Szczur. "His suffering really moves me. It's all God's providence now."
|Pope Rushed to the Hospital With Flu
Pope John Paul II, Suffering From Breathing Problems and the Flu, Is Rushed to a Rome Hospital
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON Associated Press Writer
Pope John Paul II looks at a white dove freed at the end of the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005. According to a report on French radio, the Pontiff was taken to hospital, Tuesday Feb. 1, 2005.(AP Photo/Plinio Lepri)
ROME Feb 1, 2005 — Pope John Paul II, suffering from breathing problems and the flu, was rushed to the hospital Tuesday night, Vatican officials said.
The 84-year-old pope has been suffering from the flu since Sunday and apparently suffered a "breathing crisis," a Vatican official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, a close member of the pope's staff, American Archbishop James Harvey, said he didn't know the pope had gone to the hospital but knew that the pope had congestion and a slight fever during the day.
The Vatican planned to issue a communique toward midnight Tuesday. In the meantime, cars with Vatican license plates were speeding toward to Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital where the pope had been taken, according to an AP correspondent at the scene.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Pope underwent “respiratory assistance”, condition stable: Vatican
Pope John Paul II
Karol Wojtyla, who is now Pope John Paul, was born in Wadowice, Poland. on May 18,1920.
Photo of Karol Wojtyla at his ordination on 1946.
He became the Archbishop of Krakow on December 30, 1963.On October 16, 1978, Archbishop Wojtyla became the first non-Italian pope since HadrianVI (1522-3).
Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected successor to Pope John Paul I on Oct. 16, 1978, the 264th pope of the Catholic Church, and took the name John Paul II.
He took the name of his predecessors (John, Paul, John Paul) to emphasis his desire to continue the reforms of the Council. Pope John Paul II is the most traveled pope in the history of the papacy, having visited nearly every country in the world which would receive him. It is his custom to kiss the earth of each land he visits as soon as he puts his feet to that country.
At age 61 he suffered serious wounds during an assassination attempt.
Tonight I heard from Native American shaman Nestor NightOwl. Spirit had directed him to call me and share a vision he received a week ago.
In this vision the Pope (John Paul II), dressed in his formal stiff gold-brocaded altar vestments, approached him, and called Nestor by his birth name, which he has not heard in 20 years. Nestor has never been Catholic, and was surprised by the Pope's choosing him to visit (astrally). Nestor said the Pope was a clear as day, that he could see every fine detail of his face, to the level of the hairs on his nose.
The Pope gave Nestor to understand that he (the Pope) will be dead shortly. Nestor got that it would be in weeks, not months from now.
The Pope stated that he has come to a new understanding of things, and that many ideas he has held for a lifetime are wrong: such things as the existence of a Hell or Purgatory. Pope John Paul said he was ready to let go of this life.
Pope John Paul told Nestor that the prophecies given by the figure the faithful know as the Virgin Mary are about to come to pass: those she gave to simple peasant children decades ago: the Prophecies of Fatima, Portugal, of Lourdes, France, of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzogovina. These prophecies have to do with End Times events, and resemble what in modern metaphysical lore are called Earth Changes; and what the Hopi Prophecies call the Times of Tribulation.
The Pope did not put an exact date on when these Prophecies will manifest, but Nestor got the impression that it would be rather soon. Nestor felt that these were connected with current world events unfolding, such as the War on Iraq, etc. The Pope said that these unfortunate events must play themselves out, that events have to unfold as they are set; that they will usher in an era such as the world has never experienced before.
Nestor got the strong impression that out of the world-events tumult would arise the circumstance in which the presence of the Star Visitors here would become so manifest that even the most hardened scoffer could no longer deny their reality. And that such would bring in an era unlike any previously known.
The Pope also told Nestor that people have to pay attention now to the slightest intuition or other psychic indication they get, that it will be important to do so.
Nestor was reminded of indicator signs which a Navajo Elder passed on to him, as told by the Old Ones. These signs that the Times of Tribulation are upon us will be three:
1) when one hears a low moaning outside,
2) when there is a fine red dust in the air, and
3) when a person while walking feels themself tilting some to one side.
Nestor believes that he will be drawn back soon to the U.S. Mainland from Kauaii, and hopes to be able to attend and speak at the Star Knowledge Conference May 23-25 in Colorado Springs. He feels that by that date "big things will be happening."
Nestor was puzzled as to why he was directed to bring his vision to me. But I was not. For in so doing, his vision will be spread areound the world. And since I and my associate, investigator Paola Harris, are friends with Monsignor Corrado Balducci, the Vatican's tacit point-man on Star Visitor matters, that Nestor's message would be shared with him as well.
I thanked Nestor for sharing his vision and message, and secured his permission to share them publicly. And so you have this guidance to add to what vision he previously got about May, as well as the predictions of Dr. Leo Sprinkle's Guides, John Kimmey, and Marian MacNeil's Star Visitor contact "Neuman". We are in for some changing times, and apparently not far off.
Richard Boylan, Ph.D.
|1-31-03 - VISION - I was already awake and thinking about the
dream I had just had, and suddenly had a vision of a newspaper front
The headline was: POPE PREPARES FOR DEATH AND SMOOTH TRANSITION
Under the headline was a photo and article about the Pope preparing for his own death. The photo was of the Pope sitting on his throne with his papal guards on both sides of him.
PHOTOS OF POPES ON THE THRONE
The Papal Tiara is a crown symbolizing the threefold authority of the Supreme Pontiff: Universal Pastor, Universal Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and the Temporal Power (bottom). Of this last, only the Vatican City State remains from the papal territories, which in past ages secured the autonomy of the Vicar of Christ from the princes of this world.
The triple tiara can also be understood to have a spiritual interpretation, the three-fold office of Christ, Who is Priest, Prophet and King. The Lord communicated these offices to the Apostles, and in a particular way to Peter, that they could sanctify, teach and govern in His name and by His authority (Mt 16:13-18, Mt 18:18, Mt 28:18-20, Lk 22:31-32, John 21:15-17 (See below) Pope Paul VI was the last pontiff to wear the papal tiara. At the end of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI descended the steps of the papal throne in St Peter's Basilica and laid the tiara on the altar in a dramatic gesture of humility and as a sign of the renunciation of human glory and power in keeping with the renewed spirit of the Second Vatican Council. This last tiara was then given to benefit the poor, but remains as a symbol in the papal crest."
of the Triple Tiara
Matthew 16:13-18 :
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"  They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."  Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.  And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 28:18-20 :
Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Luke 22:31-32 :
"Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat,  but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers."
John 21:15-17 :
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon,
son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord,
you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."  He then
said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said
to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep."
 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?"
and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."
(Jesus) said to him, "Feed my sheep."
|On the Feast of the Epiphany,
Pope John Paul II consecrates priests to the episcopate. Here the Pope vests
a new bishop with the mitre. His Holiness wears a pontiff-design gold mitre,
the pallium, the papal ring, and gold chasuble. Two croziers can be partially
seen in the background. The Pope's master of ceremonies, Bishop Piero Marini,
then a monsignor, is seen in violet cassock and Vatican-style surplice.
The mitre is the common headdress of bishops, worn at liturgical functions. It is either precious, golden (orphreyed), or simple (simplex).The precious mitre is worn by celebrants, the simple by concelebrants, and the golden by the celebrant at an ordination. All cardinals wear a damasked mitre (simplex) in presence of the Pope. It is very tall, and is made of layered white damask silk.
The origins of the mitre can be found in pre-Christian Greece in the cap worn by Greek athletes. The infulae, or ribbons, of the mitre actually pre-date the hat. These ribbons would be tied around the forehead, and the winner of an athletic competition would be presented with a laurel wreath, which circled the head. The hat was made taller and more ornamented by the early Christian hierarchy, and became papal vesture during the time of Pope Leo VIII. It wasn't universally allowed to bishops until the 11th century.
The testimony is universal that prayer, more than food or liquid, is the sustaining force of this Pope's life. He makes decisions "on his knees," says Monsignor Diarmuid Martin, secretary of the Vatican's Justice and Peace Commission. Sometimes John Paul will prostrate himself before the altar. At other times he will sit or kneel with eyes closed, his forehead cradled in his left hand, his face contorted intensely, as if in pain. At this time, too, he brings to his God the prayer requests of others. His prie-dieu, at the front center of the chapel, has a padded armrest. It lifts up, and underneath there is a small container for a couple of prayer books and a big stack of intentions, written on yellow sheets. Last month the stack was 200 sheets thick, and the one on the top had nine different names written on it, including that of a 17-year-old Italian boy with cancer, an Italian mother of three who was very sick and an American child.
The prayers nowadays may also concern the decline of his own health, the result of age and the lingering effects of wounds suffered in the 1981 assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Agca. John Paul has written an apostolic letter on the supernatural value of human suffering in which he teaches, "Each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ." Though he does not mortify his flesh with a hair shirt - as Paul VI sometimes did - he clearly sees his own physical ailments in this light.
"The Pope's youth wasn't happy," says Father Joseph Vandrisse, a former French missionary in the Middle East who now covers the Vatican for the French daily Le Figaro. Wojtyla lost his mother when he was nine, his father when he was 21, and his only brother, a doctor, died during a scarlet-fever epidemic. "He has meditated a lot on the meaning of suffering. Now that he is weakened in a world that is horrified by sickness and death, he thinks that the image of someone who is suffering is important for the church." To the sick whom he visits, the Pope has a request: "Pray for me. Pray for me." Still, his friend and confidant, Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger of Paris, advises the Pope's critics not to underestimate the aging Pontiff: "This is perhaps the most decisive moment of the whole pontificate."
Says Navarro, the papal spokesman and confidant: "If you say, 'Holy Father, did you enjoy your lunch?' he will say yes. But if you ask him what he just ate, he couldn't tell you." John Paul is often too engrossed in talk and thought to pay attention to food. Amid intense conversation, he may push his plate away and fiddle with the cutlery, eyes closed, while concentrating on the speaker's words. He listens and responds. At lunch one day, some of the Pope's advisers started talking about the violence of the Serbs in Bosnia. The Pope interjected: "And the Croats - you think they're angels?"
Fluent in eight languages, the Pope chooses his idiom to suit his dinner companions. Says a Vatican aide: "He listens, talks directly, asks questions, puts you at ease. After five minutes you forget you are talking to the Pope." For visiting bishops with problems to share, he can turn on the charm, singing and joking - although his humor runs more to irony and good-natured kidding. After the dissident Swiss theologian Hans Kung was censured for a book questioning papal infallibility, John Paul commented, without malice, "And I'm sure Kung wrote that infallibly."
The Pope has two modes of decision making: quick and slow. On large strategic issues, he can be instantly decisive, since he has invariably thought through what he wants to do beforehand. But if he is unhappy with options proposed by the Curia on a tricky problem, he will put the issue aside for weeks or even months. When he brings up the problem again, startled aides have discovered, he will not have forgotten a detail. His aides attest that John Paul has immense powers of concentration and - his health problems notwithstanding - a virtually photographic memory for names and details.
And with so much less time to do what he believes must be accomplished. The Pope, under strict orders from his physician, must take a half-hour after-lunch nap. After that he exercises by walking along the Apostolic Palace's rooftop terrace while reciting the rosary and reading his breviary.
He chafes under the burden of his infirmities. His image has always been of the robust mountain climber, swimmer, skier, soccer goalkeeper. Once in the high Dolomites, the Pope, determined to reach a cross planted on a peak far ahead, walked so far that his aides became worn out and could go no farther. He agreed that all his staff could rest and wait for him, but he insisted that the fit and trim Joaquin Navarro continue with him. It took another three hours to reach the cross. The Pope was dressed in hiking togs - one of those rare moments when he has been seen publicly in mufti. On the way up, they passed a group of German hikers descending the slope. John Paul greeted the group briefly in German and walked on. When the tourists were about 30 yards down the mountain, Navarro heard one of the women shriek, "Gott im Himmel! It was the Pope!"
John Paul was skiing as recently as March, 1994. But he will never ski again. He now has an artificial femur and must walk with a cane. "He doesn't know how to use it," says Navarro. "He was operated on the right hip and holds the cane in his left hand. The recovery is not as fast as hoped, because he didn't spend enough time in physiotherapy." When, impatiently, he tries to move without a cane, he often falls on a companion for support. The appearance of weakness has prompted rumor and speculation: bone cancer, Parkinson's disease, a series of small strokes. All are denied by the Vatican.
The depth of the Pope's disappointment over Crotia was apparent when he visited the country on Sept. 10, 1994. He walked unsteadily and gasped for breath, leading to rumors that he might be near death. What may have troubled the Pope more than physical discomfort was a fear that his mission as priest and prophet would end prematurely. Five days later, John Paul summoned senior Curia officers to his summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo. "He was tired," said an official, "and obviously suffering with his hip." And then the Pope surprised his aides by declaring once again, "I have to go to Sarajevo. We must find some way to make these people stop killing each other." So much to do, so little time.
|Man who shot pope pardoned in Italy
June 13, 2000
ROME -- Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, will be extradited to Turkey after Italy's president issued a pardon on Tuesday for the papal shooting.
Agca will serve the remainder of a 10-year sentence in Turkey for the murder of newspaper editor Abdi Ipekci. He shot the pope after escaping from jail while being held on charges of murdering Ipekci and was later sentenced to death in absentia by his native country.
A 1991 amnesty reduced the Turkish death sentence to 10 years in prison.
"This morning the president of the republic signed the clemency decree for Mehmet Ali Agca, and simultaneously the Justice Minister signed an extradition decree which will send him back to Turkey," a spokesman for Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said on Tuesday.
The pope, who met Agca in prison, publicly forgave him three days after the May 13, 1981, shooting, which occurred as the pope rode in an open car across St. Peter's Square. Agca, now 43 years old, shot the pope point-blank and was captured immediately.
Chief Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said John Paul was satisfied with Ciampi's action.
"As you know, John Paul II immediately pardoned his attacker and for some time now the pope had told Italian authorities that he was in favor of an act of clemency if Italian law permitted it," Navarro-Valls said. "He has been insisting on this for some time. We are not surprised. We are very happy."
Agca's attorneys reported that their client thanked the pope and the Vatican when told the news.
"This is a dream. I cannot believe it," news reports quoted the gunman as saying in comments relayed by his lawyer.
Pope credits miraculous recovery
Hit in the abdomen, left hand and right arm, the pontiff was critically wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt. Doctors were able to save the pope's life largely because Agca's bullets missed any vital organs.
The pope credits his survival to the intervention of the Virgin Mary of Fatima, Portugal.
John Paul visited Fatima last month, revealing that the attempt on his life was the last of three secrets revealed to three Portuguese shepherd children who saw the Virgin's apparition in 1917. The other two secrets had been long since revealed, but the Vatican had held tightly to the third.
The shooting occurred less than three years after John Paul ascended the papal throne.
Agca has served more than 19 years of a life sentence.
No proof of conspiracy
Agca, a member of the militant right-wing Grey Wolves group in Turkey, gave several conflicting reasons through the years for his attack on the pope, but prosecutors were never able to prove that he had not acted alone.
At a second trial after Agca's original conviction, prosecutors tried to link the attack to the growing democracy movement -- very much alive in Pope John Paul's native Poland at the time -- that would eventually lead to the downfall of communism.
The pontiff was a staunch supporter of Poland's Solidarity union and is believed to have been instrumental in the chain of events that led to the Eastern Bloc's first freely elected government.
The theory speculated that Bulgarian secret service agents had hired Agca on behalf of the Soviet Union.
Prosecutor Rosario Priore, who investigated the alleged conspiracy, said that while he's convinced the whole truth has never come out, the pardon was "a wise decision."
"It's the only possible act to take," he said. "You can't keep people in prison just to make them talk."
But another prosecutor, Antonio Marini, said that Agca's extradition to Turkey "extinguishes the last hope of reaching the truth."
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
Pope John Paul II Crys Tears of Joy After Finding His Missing Hat
by Elroy Willis
VATICAN CITY (EAP) -- Amid the recent talk of Pope John Paul II stepping down come rumors of not only failing health, but of a failing memory as well.
Most recently, he was seen bent over in frustration as he felt on top of his head and realized that he'd misplaced his hat.
"I don't remember where I put my hat," he was recently heard mumbling to himself over and over as he wandered around looking for his favorite Holy Headwear.
Papal aides say the Pope offered two days off with pay and promised to put in a good word to God for anyone who could locate his missing hat.
"It was like a treasure hunt," said 42-year-old Joseph Castillo, Vatican chef, who found the hat in the back of a freezer behind a carton of peach sherbet.
"I think maybe he snuck down to the kitchen to have a snack and for some reason he put his hat in the freezer. Or maybe someone was playing a joke on him," Castillo said.
Overjoyed by the return of his hat, he broke down into tears and cried like a baby.
Seen at left, wearing the missing hat and clutching a hankey, it's obvious that it was a very emotional experience for the aging Pope.
"He hugged me and said 'God Bless You' over and over," Castillo said. "I'm looking forward to my two days off, and thank God that I was the one who found the Holy hat."
Vatican officials say that they're relieved to have this missing hat
incident over with. "We were worried that some Pope-Groupie might've stolen
the hat," they said.
|Sunday, September 28th, 2003
Pope sets stage for succession
By LOS ANGELES TIMES
Pope John Paul II appointed 31 new cardinals Sunday, enlarging the body that will produce his successor and further solidifying his conservative influence on the Roman Catholic Church and its powerful hierarchy.
Pope John Paul II reads the names of new cardinals Sunday from the window of his Vatican study. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
John Paul, 83 and in poor health, will elevate the new cardinals, bestowing upon them their trademark scarlet birettas, on Oct. 21 in a ceremony known as a consistory. It will wrap up a week of celebrations marking the pontiffs 25 years in office, one of the longest reigns in modern history.
The men named Sunday will become members of the College of Cardinals. Those under the age of 80 are eligible to take part in the election almost always from within their own ranks of a new pope upon the death of a sitting pontiff.
The new princes of the Church, as the cardinals are known, included only one U.S.prelate Los Angeles-born Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia and one each from Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil. Six are Italians and one was appointed in pectore, or close to the heart, meaning his name will not be revealed because of religious persecution in his home nation.
Rigali, 68, is considered a conservative who is loyal to the pope and his traditional doctrines, including staunch opposition to abortion.
|Report: Pope's Health 'In a Bad Way'
Pope John Paul II Is 'In a Bad Way,' Cardinal Ratzinger Tells German Magazine
The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY Sept. 30, 2003 Ailing Pope John Paul II is "in a bad way," one of his closest advisers said in an interview published Tuesday, calling on the faithful to pray for him.
An aide to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, however, told The Associated Press that the comments in no way indicated John Paul's health had worsened in recent days. Instead, they reflected concern about John Paul's frailty, the aide said.
The Polish-born pontiff, who was elected as pope in 1978, is 83 and suffers from Parkinson's disease.
"He is in a bad way," Ratzinger told the German weekly Bunte, which said its correspondent spoke with him at the Vatican on Sept. 22. "We should pray for the pope."
Those comments to some degree only confirm what's been obvious in John Paul's recent appearances, but also raised concerns the pope's health might have deteriorated beyond what has visible to all.
However, Ratzinger's aide, the Rev. Georg Gaenswein, said Ratzinger's remarks did not mean John Paul's health had worsened in recent days. He said Ratzinger's remarks came in response to a request by a group of visiting German brewers to have an audience with the pontiff while they were in Rome.
"They were told, 'Unfortunately, this is not possible. The pope's health doesn't allow him to make a lot of physical effort,'" Gaenswein recalled.
Gaenswein noted that conserving strength was particularly important in the run-up to a heavy schedule John Paul has given himself for the month of October, including celebrations of his 25th anniversary as pope.
On Sept. 23, the pontiff came down with an intestinal ailment that caused him to skip his weekly general audience the next day.
Asked whether Ratzinger's comments indicated any change in the pope's condition, the Vatican press office replied by noting that John Paul would resume the general audience on Wednesday.
The pope will also celebrate a Mass on Sunday on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica to raise three churchmen to sainthood, the Vatican announced Tuesday. Canonization ceremonies generally last about two hours, an indication that the pope's doctors think he has the stamina for the appearance.
The Vatican recently also announced that the pope is forging ahead with plans to visit a Marian sanctuary in Pompeii, southern Italy, on Oct. 7.
On Sunday, John Paul spoke with great difficulty and stopped to catch his breath several times as he announced the appointments of 31 new cardinals from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square.
Asked whether the pope is taking on too much given his state of health, Ratzinger was quoted as telling Bunte that "that is very probably the case." But, pressed as to whether he could dissuade the ailing pontiff from loading himself with duties, he added: "that's something other people must do."
Bunte described the cardinal as speaking in an interview, but Gaenswein denied that a formal interview had been granted.
The magazine quoted Gaenswein as saying of the pope: "He cannot walk and stand any more, but for the faithful he is a hero."'
Ratzinger, the Vatican's top guardian for doctrinal orthodoxy, celebrated a roughly 1 1/2-hour Mass on Saturday the basilica, a memorial ceremony for John Paul's two predecessors in which the pontiff read the homily.
In the last couple of years, top aides have filled in for the pope during several ceremonies in celebrating Mass, while John Paul presides.
|Pope's Health Remains Concern
VATICAN CITY, Oct. 3, 2003
Pope John Paul II
"The entire world is experiencing a pope who is sick, who is disabled and who is dying."
Christoph Schoenborn, Austrian Cardinal
(AP) One of Europe's top cardinals said Thursday that Pope John Paul II was nearing "the last days and months of his life," the first ranking prelate to say the 83-year-old pontiff is dying.
With John Paul visibly weaker in recent weeks, concern over his health has been growing. Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn was the second leading prelate this week to express alarm over the pope's health.
"The entire world is experiencing a pope who is sick, who is disabled and who is dying I don't know how near death he is who is approaching the last days and months of his life," Schoenborn, who is the archbishop of Vienna, told Austrian state broadcaster ORF.
Schoenborn is considered a possible candidate for the papacy. His spokesman, Erich Leitenberger, later told The Associated Press the comments were "to be interpreted philosophically."
Since the mid-1990s, John Paul has been battling Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological disorder, as well as crippling knee and hip ailments.
The Vatican, which generally refrains from commenting on the pope's health, declined to respond to the Austrian cardinal's remarks.
However, two Vatican cardinals and one of John Paul's closest aides the secretary who joined him from Poland when he assumed the papacy 25 years ago sought to minimize concern about the pontiff's well-being.
Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, promoted to archbishop by John Paul on Monday as a sign of gratitude, took the unusual step of talking to reporters about the pope's health as the pontiff was meeting with the president of Lithuania.
Asked about the state of the pope's health, Dziwisz referred to comments this week attributed by a German magazine to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that John Paul was "in a bad way" and that the faithful should pray for him.
"Cardinal Ratzinger was crying yesterday, explaining that he never gave an interview but merely answered someone he met on the street, saying, 'If the pope is sick, pray for him,"' Dziwisz said.
"Many journalists who in the past have written about the pope's health are already in heaven," Dziwisz added.
The pope looked relaxed and alert during his meeting with President Rolandas Paksas, which lasted 15 minutes and was one of four appointments on the pope's schedule Thursday.
Despite his frail condition, John Paul has one of the busiest periods in his papacy ahead of him. He makes a day trip Tuesday to a shrine in Pompeii and then takes part in celebrations the following week marking the 25th anniversary of his papacy.
The Vatican announced Tuesday the pope will also preside over the ceremony elevating the 31 new cardinals he named Sunday, saying it will be held Oct. 21 on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica. The following day, he will preside at a Mass with the cardinals in St. Peter's Square.
Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, said Thursday the pope's trip to Pompeii next week shows "there is no reason for alarm."
"I think that the pope and all of us are in the hands of God," he told the ANSA news agency. "To my mind, this alarmism should really be re-thought."
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Congregation of Bishops, said he ate with John Paul on Thursday.
"The pope is well, given the problems that are there for everyone to see," he said, according to the AGI news agency. "He has difficulty moving and pronouncing words. But he is a very strong man, and above all is very lucid, he has a clear vision of the world and of the church."
John Paul looked alert and spirited throughout his two-hour general audience Wednesday. He skipped the traditional audience the previous week because of what the Vatican described as an intestinal ailment.
In Paris on Wednesday, the head of the governing body for the Catholic Church in France said John Paul is "very ill" but still able to lead.
"Things shouldn't be hidden. This pope is very ill," Bishop Stanislas Lalane said on Europe-1 radio. "But I assure you, the church is governed."
©MMIII, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
|10-6-03 - Ailing Pope looks good at Canonization
The Associated Press
Days after some cardinals gave dire descriptions of his health, Pope John Paul II led a long and lively ceremony Sunday to give the Catholic Church three new saints, capping the appearance with a spin in a "popemobile" around St. Peter's Square to wave to tens of thousands of cheering well-wishers.
The 83-year old pontiff, who suffers from Parkinson's disease; held up rather well throughout his 2 1/2 hours in the public's eye, although near the end of the canonization Mass he began heavily slurring his words and let German Cardinal Walter Kasper read three paragraphs in German.
John Paul declared three missionaries to be saints: Daniele Comboni, an Italian; Arnold Janssen, a German; and Josef Freinademetz, an Austrian.
The pope chanted several prayers in a loud, clear voice, greeted a long line of VIPs one by one and watched with attention as African and Asian dancers performed in honor of the three saints.
After the ceremony, John Paul was helped into the open-topped vehicle dubbed the popemobile for a 10-minute spin around the cobblestone square.
Firmly gripping the safety bar with one hand, John Paul alternately waved and gave his blessing with the other hand.
Last week, some unusually frank assessments by churchmen, including several cardinals, heightened alarm over his deteriorating condition.
Until relatively recently, top churchmen wouldn't even publicly acknowledge that the pontiff has Parkinson's despite evident symptoms like hand tremors, stiff facial muscles and stopped posture.
|Today: October 07, 2003
Frail Pope Defies Skeptics With Visit
By FRANCES D'EMILIO
POMPEII, Italy (AP) -
Defying skeptics who thought the ailing pontiff's travel days were finished, Pope John Paul II flew to a shrine Tuesday near the ruins of ancient Pompeii and prayed for world peace.
Only last month, the 83-year-old pontiff, stooped and slowed by Parkinson's disease and other health problems, struggled through a four-day pilgrimage to Slovakia, and a cardinal last week said John Paul was approaching his dying days.
John Paul's voice was often halting, and he slurred his words as he read opening prayers for peace. He skipped portions of his speech, but he looked alert and happy to be back in Pompeii after 24 years.
Before heading back to the Vatican by helicopter after the three-hour visit, he even seemed buoyed. He sounded stronger as he asked the faithful in improvised remarks to "pray for me in this sanctuary, today and always."
Some 30,000 pilgrims, many standing under palm trees in a packed square in front of the shrine here dedicated to the rosary, applauded in encouragement, especially when he paused in his speech. Shouts of "Long live the pope!" resounded from the crowd.
"I wanted this pilgrimage of mine to carry the sense of an appeal for peace," John Paul told the faithful after praying the rosary with them.
The pontiff, who vigorously opposed the war in Iraq, lamented that the new millennium "is already lashed by the winds of war and stained with blood in so many regions of the world."
John Paul arrived in a landing area at the edge of the ancient ruins of Pompeii after an hour's flight from Vatican City on an Italian air force helicopter. He was driven by "popemobile" to the sanctuary here dedicated to the rosary.
Along the route, John Paul, sitting in an upholstered chair in the open-topped white vehicle, waved constantly to joyous pilgrims.
The pilgrims packed the square in front of the shrine, many standing under palm trees.
Several dire assessments of his health recently by top prelates heightened concern over whether his physical frailty allows him to continue in the papacy.
But apparently bouncing back from an intestinal ailment that forced him to skip a public audience at the Vatican on Sept. 24, John Paul led a more than two-hour-long canonization ceremony Sunday in St. Peter's Square.
The Vatican devised a mini-lift to allow John Paul to resume using a helicopter, which he used to fly regularly in his frequent trips. Parkinson's, as well as knee problems, make it impossible for John Paul to climb stairs to board.
For several months now, John Paul has rarely been seen walking or even standing in public. He navigates the vast spaces of St. Peter's Square and Basilica in a throne-like chair on wheels, guided by aides.
"I love the pope. He's the most holy man on Earth," said Ella McLoughlin, a pilgrim from Worcester, Mass. "I think God still wants to use him. That's why he's still alive."
Pompeii, with its more than century-old shrine dedicated to the rosary, is very dear to the pope. He considers the rosary a powerful form of prayer and a way to invoke peace.
He began talking about a return to the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary when he flew over Pompeii in a helicopter on his way to visit the island of Ischia in May 2002.
The sanctuary draws some 4 million faithful each year to Pompeii, a sleepy town flanking the sprawling ruins of the ancient Roman city buried by ash during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
Also on Tuesday, John Paul named a new Vatican foreign minister, choosing his nuncio in Germany, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo. The Italian takes over from Monsignor Jean-Louis Tauran of France, who was recently named a cardinal.
|Pope Elevates 31 New Cardinals
October 22, 2003
Pope John Paul II yesterday elevated 31 new cardinals of the Catholic Church, most of whom will be charged with electing his successor. One of the cardinals is Dr. Olubunmi Okogie of Nigeria. His voice weak, the 83-year-old pope pronounced the Latin liturgical formula elevating the new "princes of the Church" at the start of a colourful ceremony at the Vatican, but he did not attempt to recite his homily, which was read for him by an aide. For the first time, John Paul II did not place the ceremonial red biretta on each cardinal's head, as is the Church tradition -- a further sign of his declining mobility due to Parkinson's disease. Instead, he handed them the square red hat denoting their high office as they approached one by one and knelt before him. Some of the cardinals leaned forward to kiss the pontiff's hand.
In his homily, he reminded the prelates that the bright red colour of their new cassocks is meant to symbolise their willingness to die for the faith, if necessary. It "evokes the colour of blood and recalls the heroism of the martyrs. It is the symbol of love for Jesus and for his Church which knows no limit, love until the sacrifice of life." Newly elevated French cardinal, Jean-Louis Tauran thanked the pope saying: "Holy Father, you can count on us." The list of new cardinals read out at a ceremony in St Peter's Square included one "in pectore" -- meaning kept close "in the heart" or secret -- the identity of whom the pope has not revealed. It is usually reserved for those who would be endangered if their identities were known by repressive governments.
At the end of the ceremony watched by thousands, the new cardinals embraced and shook hands. Twenty-six of them will join the elite group of cardinal-electors who will meet in conclave to elect the next pope after the death of John Paul II. New Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, 65, told journalists on the eve of the ceremony the most important aspect of his new job "is electing a new pope, and we don't know whether that'll be in one month or in five years." The new cardinals will take part in the traditional "Mass of the Rings" in St Peter's Square on Wednesday, at which the pope will present each of them with a ring symbolic of their office.
Many Vatican observers believe the pope's ninth consistory, or gathering of cardinals, is in all probability his last, given his failing health.
It gave the consistory something of a "pre-conclave" atmosphere, given that cardinals mingling here -- some meeting for the first time, many of them old friends -- know that the next pope is among them. "A consistory is an important event because it broadens the electorate, which has the singular responsibility of electing the next leader of the Chruch," US ambassador to the Holy See James Nicholson said. "This consistory doesn't particularly indicate anything about the pope's health. They dropped down below 120. There was a normal cycling requirement". The consistory thus brings the number of electors to 135, though it will have dropped to 131 by the end of the year, four more cardinals reaching the age of 80, precluding them from further involvement with electing a pope. The new recruits to the august college of cardinals means John Paul II has selected all but five of the electors who will choose his successor, said Nicholson, who downplayed concerns for the pope's health. "People who predict the pope's demise do so at their own peril. There's a saying in Rome that the pope outlives his successors."
|Church 'is not ready for black pope'
October 22, 2003
Onitsha, Nigeria: While a Nigerian cardinal has been mentioned frequently as a possible successor to ailing Pope John Paul, few in his hometown of Onitsha believe the Roman Catholic Church is ready for a black pope.
"It is not the Holy Spirit voting, it is men," said church elder Cyril Obulie of the chances of Cardinal Francis Arinze.
"It won't just happen," was the blunt view of Peter Chukwuma Ezenwa, traditional ruler of the Oba community near Arinze's home in the Nigerian state of Anambra. "A black man will not be pope after the current one."
Yesterday, the church's College of Cardinals took on its last crop of newcomers, 31 men. One of the 135 cardinals will succeed John Paul as the new head of the world's one billion Catholics.
Ezenwa said the new head would not be Arinze.
"The Italian cardinals will not allow it. It is global politics, I can't see the Europeans entrusting the Catholic Church to an African."
But most of Arinze's kinsmen in the market town on the River Niger have no doubt he is the man to succeed the Polish-born John Paul. They said Arinze, one of a galaxy of famous sons to emerge from the ancient city, was both extraordinarily humble and selfless.
Obulie, who worked with Arinze at a charity called Catholic Society in Onitsha, said: "His display of humility is astounding.
For 21 years I worked with a special being. The Onitsha archdiocese still works on the basis of programmes he initiated."
The Onitsha area has produced prominent Nigerians, including first president Nnamdi Azikiwe, former Commonwealth secretary-general Emeka Anyaoku and author Chinua Achebe.
Arinze, who will be 71 on November 1, was born into an animist family in the village of Eziowelle. He was not baptized until the age of nine, when he converted to Catholicism.
The theological conservative headed the Onitsha diocese for 20 years before going to Rome.
Obulie said Arinze was outstanding as head of a Vatican department that handles relations with non-Christian faiths, and was key to improving the church's relations with Muslims.
The pope made Arinze head of that department in 1984. He was promoted to cardinal the following year. And last year, he became head of the department overseeing methods of divine worship.
He has also has worked as a consultant to the Vatican doctrinal integrity department.
On a recent visit to Nigeria, Arinze declined to answer the question on whether he saw himself as a potential pope.
"It is not a question for me. It is the role of the Holy Spirit," he said.
|Cardinals quietly considering who might become next Pope
But it will take more to win the post than just divine inspiration
by Tom Hundley
VATICAN CITY - It is the Vatican's 11th Commandment: Speak not of the pope's death until he is actually dead.
So when Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the aristocratic archbishop of Vienne and a man often mentioned as a possible papal successor, recently spoke of Pope John Paul II "approaching his last days and months," it sounded like the start of the official Vatican death watch.
With most of the church's 166 cardinals in Rome of John Paul II's silver jubilee, the beatification of Mother Teresa and a consistory that will formally create 30 new cardinals, the Catholic leaders are seeing for themselves the fading shadow of the once-vigorous man who became pope 25 years ago.
The 135 cardinals under the age of 80 - and thus eligible to vote in the next conclave - are quietly taking measure of each other, wondering who among them will be the next pope.
They know that the next time they meet in Rome, in all probability, it will be to choose the 265th successor to St. Peter.
"No question about it - not necessarily that people are campaigning, but obviously they'll be checking out the field and vetting the candidates," said the Rev. John Wauck, a professor at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.
Overt campaigning would be bad form. But there have been campaigns in the past, quietly orchestrated by candidates or their supporters.
After the death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, for example the conservative Italian press rallied behind the candidacy of Cardinal Giuseppe Siri, the archbishop of Genoa.
More effective, however, is when an influential cardinal, not in the running himself, takes up the cause of a colleague. Most cardinals would say it was the Holy Spirit who inspired the selection of karol Wojtyla 25 years ago, but few would deny it was Austrian Cardinal Franz Koenig who did the heavy politicking on behalf of the man who would become Pope John Paul II.
The Vaticanisti - journalists, usually Italian, who specialize in covering the Vatican - endlessly draw up lists of who might be in the running and watch carefully for signs that suggest one candidate might be the favorite of the present pope.
No simple decision likely
But long gone are the days when an insular group of Italian cardinals pretty much decided who among them would be pope.
The College of Cardinals has grown too large and too cosmopolitan to be controlled by any single national group.
These days, most Vatican watchers agree, the best way to become pope is to make a good impression worldwide.
"You go on tours, you speak to church groups around the world. That's something Wojtyla started," said John Thavis, who covers the Vatican for Catholic News Service. "Wojtyla may have been unknown to the world when he was elected, but in church circles, he was a very plugged-in guy.
What qualities are the cardinals looking for in a man who would be pope? In public pronouncements, the prelates say they look for holiness and humility and that providence will guide their choice. The reality is more complicated and political.
When the pope creates 30 new cardinals Tuesday, it will mean that 130 of the 135 cardinals under age 80 will have been appointed by him and share his traditionalist views.
The pope's choices also reflect the changing demography of the church - fewer cardinals from Western Europe and north America, many more from the Third World.
As a practical matter, this means that the big issues for many American Catholics - the church's teaching on birth control, the role of women and priestly celibacy - won't even be on the table when the cardinals discuss the next pope.
"The Latin Americans, Asians and Africans," said Wauck, "are much more interested in relations with Muslims and pagans, and in some very fundamental church-state issues that were resolved in the West years ago."
Cardinals also tend to be deeply interested in the dynamics of power within the church. Many of the non-Curial cardinals believe that the pontiff has centralized too much power in the hands of the Vatican. They might choose a pope who will loosen the reins.
Even in the grip of age and illness, the pope remains a larger-than-life figure whose shoes will be difficult to fill.
This might cause the cardinals to lean toward someone who would keep a lower profile.
on the other hand, the pope has so enlarged the role of the papacy that it will be difficult for the cardinals to downsize it.
"People will expect an international leader," Wauck said. "It will almost force the cardinals to pick someone who speaks several languages, who can handle the media and deal with world leaders."
|HOW THE DEATH
OF THE POPE AND A NEW POPE IS ELECTED PROCEEDS
Popes are elected by the College of Cardinals meeting in Conclave when the Apostolic See falls vacant.
Pope Paul VI significantly changed the rules for conclaves in 1975 when he promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Romano Pontifico Eligendo. He excluded all cardinals 80 years old or over from the conclave and made provision to prevent any bugging of the Sistine Chapel.
It was according to these rules that Albano Luciano, Patriarch of Venice, was elected Pope John Paul I and that a little over a month later, Karol Wojtyla, Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, was elected Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul has himself now promulgated a whole new set of rules in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (see the full text of the Constitution).
He has not departed radically from the traditional structure. But he has made some significant changes:
The maximum number of Cardinal Electors allowed at any one time is 120. The Pope cannot raise more than 120 men under 80 to the Cardinalate at any one time.
The Pope dies
During the interregnum, it is the Camerlengo who is responsible for the government of the Church. He must arrange the funeral and burial of the Pope. He directs the election of a new pope, assisted by three Cardinals, elected by the College of Cardinals, with three new Cardinals elected every three days.
All heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia are suspended from exercising their authority during the interregnum (and are expected to resign their posts immediately on the election of the new Pope). The only exceptions to this are the Cardinal Camerlengo, the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, the Major Penitentiary (William Cardinal Baum), the Cardinal Archpriest of St Peter's Basilica and the Vicar-General for Vatican City (both offices are held by Virgilio Cardinal Noe). These continue in their posts during the interregnum.
After 15-20 days of "General Congregations", sermons at their Titular Churches and mourning for the Pope after his funeral, the Cardinal Electors enter the Conclave to choose which of them will emerge as Holy Roman Pontiff.
The Cardinals must take an oath when they first enter the Conclave that they will follow the rules set down by the Pope and that they will maintain absolute secrecy about the voting and deliberations. The penalty for disclosing anything about the conclave that must be kept secret is automatic excommunication.
The Cardinals all take seats around the wall of the Sistine Chapel and take a ballot paper on which is written "Eligo in suumum pontificem" -- "I elect as supreme Pontiff...". They then write a name on it, fold it, and then proceed one by one to approach the altar, where a chalice stands with a paten on it. They hold up their ballot high to show that they have voted, then place it on the paten, and then slides it into the chalice. The votes are then counted by the Cardinal Camerlengo and his three assistants. Each assistant reads the name, reads the name aloud, writes it down on a tally sheet and then passes it to the next assistant. The third assistance runs a needle and thread through the centre of each ballot to join them all together. The ballots are then burned, as well as all notes made. If a new Pope has been elected, the papers are burned with to give white smoke. Otherwise, they give off black smoke, so that the waiting crowds, and the world, know whether their new Holy Father will soon emerge from the Sistine Chapel.
To be elected Pope, one Cardinal must receive more than two-thirds of the votes. Except that if 30 elections have taken place without any one Cardinal being elected Pope, then the Cardinals may then elect by simple majority. This is an important change and may well be the most important change made. In the past, it has often been the case that a particular candidate has had solid majority support but cannot garner the required two-thirds majority, eg, because he is too conservative to satisfy the more moderate Cardinals. Therefore a compromise candidate is chosen, either an old Pope who will die soon and not do much until the next conclave (which is what was intended with John XXIII!) or someone not so hard-line wins support. The difference now will be that if, in the early ballots, one candidate has strong majority support, there is less incentive for that majority to compromise with the cardinals who are against their candidate and they simply need to sit out 30 ballots to elect their man. This may well see much more "hard-line" Popes being elected, and given the conservative trend of most appointments to the College by Pope John Paul II, it is almost certainly going to be a man cut from the same cloth.
The cardinals vote on the afternoon of the first day, then twice each morning and once each afternoon. If they have not elected someone within the first nine votes, then they may devote up to a day to prayer and discussion before resuming. They may do the same every seven unsuccessful votes after that.
The Cardinals are not permitted any contact with the outside world: no mobile phones, no newspapers or television, no messages or letters or signals to observers. There will be regular sweeps of all relevant areas for listening devices. The Cardinals will for the first time be visible, at least twice daily, to the observing world, when they move the 350 metres from the Domus Sanctae Marthae to the Sistine Chapel and back again. No doubt, Vatican "experts" will be hired to expound at length on what the countenance of certain key Cardinals indicates as they are filmed moving to and from the Chapel!
Once a Cardinal has received the required number of votes, the Dean of the College of Cardinals asks him if he accepts election and by what name he wishes to be called as Pope. On giving assent, the Cardinal immediately becomes Pontifex Maximus, the Holy Roman Pontiff.
The Cardinals then pledge their obedience to His Holiness in turn. The Pope vests in his Pontifical clericals (white soutane and skull cap) -- the Italian family business in Rome that makes all the Papal vestments has several different sizes prepared in readiness for His Holiness, no matter what his shape or size!
The Dean of the College of Cardinals then steps onto the main balcony of the Vatican and declares to the World: "Habemus Papam!" "We have a Pope!" His Holiness then appears on the Balcony and delivers his Apostolic Blessing to the waiting World.
Within a short time of his election, before the Cardinals return home, a formal ceremony of inauguration takes place at which the woollen pallium is bestowed upon him. One of the few things Pope John Paul I managed to do in his short papacy was to abolish the traditional Papal Coronation, which Pope John Paul II did not resurrect. Traditionally, the Pope would be carried around St Peter's Square on the Sedia Gestatoria (the Papal Throne) and have the Papal Tiara placed on his head. These last two popes have done away with the monarchic symbolism of the papacy (including the use of the Royal "we") in favour of a heightened concentration of their role as "Servus Servorum Dei" -- Servant of the servants of God.
Nostradamus vision of a abrupt, unexpected disintegration of the Holy See in our times is consistent with the 12th Century prophecy of St. Malachy, insofar as the latter indicates that Pope John Paul II will have only two successors, and that one of those will be an Antipope. Later, in the 19th and 20th Century, the same warning of an impending eclipse of the Catholic Church was repeated in ecstatic apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, the most notable of which occurred in La Salette, France, in 1846, and Fatima, Portugal, in 1917. Whats particularly intriguing about Malachys prophecy, especially in the context of our discussion, is his reference to the last Pope as Peter the Roman. This designation implies that the 21st Century Pope Peter will be distinguishable from his First Century counterpart because the former will truly be a Roman, while the latter was not. In this regard, Malachys vision points to a much needed renewal of the Catholic priesthood, based upon the genuine martyrdom of Peter the Roman rather than the spurious tradition of Simon the Fisherman.
The historical St. Peter never subscribed to St. Pauls notion of foregoing the observance of the Mosaic Law in the practice of Christianity. Simon Peter remained a Jew to the end of his life, as did his Master Jesus of Nazareth. When St. Malachy envisions a latter-day Pope Peter restoring the Church to its true roots, therefore, those roots clearly lie in the Judaism which the Apostle Peter never abandoned.
Pope Pius XI held the Keys of St. Peter for exactly seventeen years from February 11, 1922 to February 11, 1939. During the two decades beginning with the last year of his successor's reign, there were five occupants of the Papal throne, beginning with Pius XII, who died in October 1958, followed by John XXIII (1958 - 1963), Paul VI (1963 - 1978), John Paul I (Aug.-Sept.1978), and finally John Paul II, elected on October 16, 1978. The latter, being the first non-Italian Pope in over four-and-a-half centuries, is often identified by Nostradamus modern interpreters as the one who is not too much in conformity with the Romans. But a more careful reading of this stanza suggests that the French Prophet is instead referring to the Pope who will be elected after the reign of Polish Pontiff. Interpreted in this manner, this Quatrain also conforms to St. Malachys prediction that John Paul II would have a pair of successors, both elected at the same time, one of whom would be an Antipope.
Historically, Antipopes have been associated with disputed papal elections in which two candidates both claim victory. Thus, the last true Pope, Malachys Peter the Roman, will be elected at the same time as another candidate, an Antipope who will also claim the papal throne. St. Malachy calls this Antipope the Glory of the Olive Tree. Since the Olive Tree typically appears in Scripture as a symbol of the Jewish people, Malachys prophecy clearly suggests that the Antipope will be a Jew who has converted to Catholicism. In this sense, he will be the diabolical mirror-image of Peter the Roman, who, despite his epithet, will be break sharply with the conformity of the Roman priesthood by seeking to restore it to its Jewish roots.
It appears, therefore, that the next and last genuine Pope will take the name Peter. Since the Roman Pontificate was supposedly initiated by the Apostle Peter, one might expect that the name Peter would have been chosen by many previous Popes. But its a curious fact that not one of the 260-odd Catholic Pontiffs elected to date has opted to honor the great Fisherman by assuming his name. Why? St. Malachys prediction that Peter would be the last Pope doesnt explain it, since more than 160 Popes had shunned the name of the great Apostle before Malachy ever received his vision in 1140 AD. Moreover, Malachys list of future Popes was kept hidden in the Vatican archives until its first publication in 1559 (in time, by the way, for Nostradamus to have read them while he was completing his own prophecies). So why should all of the 220 Popes enthroned before the publication of Malachys list have avoided using the name of the alleged founder of their line? Given the consistency of this pattern, one would have to assume that this unwritten taboo is deeply ingrained in the Church hierarchy. One might also interpret this odd aversion for Peters name as an implicit acknowledgment of the spurious character of the Papacys Petrine legacy.
Be that as it may, the choice of the name Peter by a newly elected Pope would constitute nothing short of an act of outright rebellion against the Vatican hierarchy. It would signal the intent of the part of the new Pontiff to radically transform the Catholic priesthood, to literally rebuild the Church on a new foundation. Instead of the foundation of falsehood, whose emblem is the bogus tomb of St. Peter, the last Pope would lay down a foundation of Truth. But to do so would necessarily expose the mountain of lies upon which the power of the Roman hierarchy rests.
In Nostradamus Quatrain 8.99, we encounter a further elaboration of the outcome of the Vaticans current crisis:
As a consequence of the power of the three temporal Kings,
Insofar as Nostradamus foresees the restored Church relocating its seat away from Rome, hes in accord with the visions of the 19th Century Catholic prophetess, the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich. Anticipating a future schism in the Church, Anne Emmerich foretold that the true Pope would be forced to flee Rome, which would become the seat of a dark, counterfeit church. But, if we look closer at the last stanza, Nostradamus seems to be predicting something more than the a mere geographical shift in the Holy See. In a most physician-like way, he refers in the third line to the visceral unity of the Spirit and the Body. Its almost as if he knew that the Churchs denial of the reality and, yes, even the divinity of the Body would become the source of its undoing. Quite astoundingly, he foresees that, with the translation of the Churchs physical location, will come a corresponding shift in its theological paradigms. When the Church is reborn, therefore, it will rediscover that human sexuality is not something to be hidden and denied, but rather that it is the sacred energy that enlivens the Spirit. To rediscover this particular truth, Catholicism and, indeed, Christianity in general must also rediscover its roots in Jewish mysticism, as revealed in the teachings of the Kabbalah.
From the first line of Quatrain 8.99, its apparent that this watershed event in Church history is to be precipitated by the pressure of three political rulers, the three temporal Kings. Nostradamus explains more about these three Kings in one of the two prose sections of his prophecies, the Epistle to King Henry II. In the 28th through 37th paragraphs of the Epistle, he outlines a future scenario in which the priesthood will descend into whoring and lechery. The Church hierarchy will split into three factions, each one backed by one of the three competing temporal rulers. One of these factions the one which will ultimately become dominant in Rome will be led by madmen into lecherous lust. When the outraged public calls upon the civil authorities to intervene (as they already are beginning to do as we speak), the political powers will seize the opportunity to install their own pawn as Pope.
Consequently, the Antichrist of the Apocalypse may be characterized as a Triumvir is two senses. First, as we have just said, he will initially share power as one of the Triumvirate of the three temporal Kings foreseen by Nostradamus. Second, he will be the third in the line of historical Antichrists, the rightful heir to the odious legacies of Bonaparte and Hitler. Nostradamus speaks of this third one, who will nonetheless rank first in perpetrating atrocities:
The third one ranks first, doing worse than Nero,
Since this is the 17th Quatrain of Century IX, we again find the number 17 associated with the fall of the Papacy and the rise of the Antichrist. Moreover, its possible that Nostradamus intentionally positioned this stanza as Quatrain 9.17 as an allusion to the year 1917, when the Third Secret of Fatima was revealed. In the last line, we see a reference to the great scandal, now beginning to engulf the Catholic hierarchy, which is destined to bring an end to the golden age of the Vaticans moral authority. Particularly ominous is the allusion in the third line to the rebuilding of ovens, which suggests that the third one will resume the nightmarish Holocaust of Dachau, Treblinka and Auschwitz. And the reference to Nero all but clinches the identification of the new King as the Antichrist, since the notorious figure 666 of the Beast of Revelation is a numerical rendering of the name Nero Caesar
Nero was, of course, the Emperor who supposedly ordered the execution of St. Peter. According to one version of the story, Nero sought revenge on Peter because he had brought disgrace on the Emperors favorite magician, Simon Magus. If Nero was the original prototype of the Beast, then it must be said that Simon Magus was the original prototype of the False Prophet who serves as the Beasts spiritual accomplice. Although the pejorative Magus epithet meaning magician was later attached to his name by Christian writers, he was actually known in Rome as Simon Magnus, or Simon the Great. And, while the historical presence of Simon the Apostle in Rome is, at best, uncertain, Simon Magus sojourn in the Eternal City is quite well documented. In fact, Simon Magus founded his own sect which came to dominate the early Christian community in Rome. This sect later evolved into a form of Christianity known as Gnosticism.
When Gnosticism was subsequently branded a heresy by the official Church, the fact that the original Christian community in Rome had been established by Simon Magus understandably became quite an embarrassing historical detail, and one that weighed heavily against the claim of Rome to be the supreme See. The standard response of authoritarian institutions to inconvenient historical details is to alter them, and this was apparently what the Church of Rome hoped to accomplish by promoting the fiction of St. Peters role in founding the local Christian community. As it often did in converting the tales of popular pagan deities into the lives of saints, the Roman Church simply merged the identities of Simon Magus and Simon the Fisherman, fashioning a fictional persona for the latter out of the historical character of the former.
Read more here: http://www.apokalypso.com/Triumvir.htm
THE THIRD PROPHECY OF FATIMA
From a reader: 2-2-03 - Hi Dee
I believe the Pope will pass on in May or June of this year. Angel. you can add that to your list :)
The visions of Mary -- and her series of prophecies -- were apparent to the three children, alone. At first, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta had great difficulty trying to share what they had seen, because the government of Portugal was heavily opposed to religion at that time. The children were imprisoned and threatened with torture in a fruitless attempt to make them confess that their stories were lies.
Francisco and Jacinta died in an influenza pandemic within three years of the 1917 "dance of the sun." Lucia went on to become a nun, and is still alive today at a Portugal convent. She told the church the details of Fatima prophecies, the first parts of which have common public knowledge for many years.
Lucia said the first secret shown to them by Mary began with a terrifying vision of hell. Mary then indicated that the war would soon end, as World War I did in the following year. But Mary foresaw that a "night illuminated by an unknown light" would precede a "worse war" in which "The good will be martyred" and "The Holy Father will have much to suffer." On January 25, 1938, a remarkable display of aurora borealis was visible across Europe, the year before World War II began.
The second secret involved the future of Russia. Lucia says Mary revealed that Russia would "spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars," and that "Various nations will be annihilated." Many believe this is a direct prophecy of the spread of communism. "I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart," continues the account of Mary's revelation. "If people attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace." Some interpret Pope John Paul II's 1984 consecration of Russia as fulfilling the prophecy, and paving the way for the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union as the "conversion" of Russia.
Lucia wrote down the third secret, sealed it, and entrusted it to Portugal's Bishop of Leiria, with instructions that it was not to be read until 1960. The Bishop turned the envelope over to the Vatican. Pope John XXIII reportedly opened the envelope when 1960 arrived, but refused to divulge its contents, saying, "This prophecy does not relate to my time." Pope John Paul II is said to have also read the it, and refuses to reveal it on the grounds that its true spiritual message has been obscured by sensationalism.
It has been speculated that the third secret must be truly horrifying in nature, perhaps detailing the end of the world in nuclear war. Russia is likely to be involved in the prophecy, and 1960 was the year in which the U.S. nuclear stockpile reached its highest level, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world to the brink of destruction two years later. Another theory is that the third secret intimates dangers posed to the Catholic Church by corruption from within, news that an indignant Vatican would be reluctant to disclose.
The following paragraphs have been examined by scholars of the Fatima Prophcies and found wanting. The truth is still not known:
On Saturday, May 13, 2000, the 83rd anniversary of the Fatima vision, the Roman Catholic Church, under the direction of the Bishop of Rome, revealed the contents of the third vision of Fatima to the world.
The startling announcement was front page news all across the world. The Los Angeles Times, for instance, wrote that the "the third secret of Fatima had become one of the most intriguing mysteries of modern times."
According to Vatican sources, the vision described a bishop in white, agonizingly making his way to the Cross through a sea of corpses of Christian martyrs, suddenly cut down by a fusilade of bullets. Together with the revelation, the Vatican gave an interpretation that applied in part, but failed to address completely major elements of the prophecy.
Vatican officials concluded that the third Fatima prophecy applied to the past, especially to the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square in 1981.
Text of The Third Secret of Fatima
COMPLETE TRANSLATION OF ORIGINAL TEXT:
VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2000 (VIS) - Given below is the complete translation of the original Portuguese text of the third part of the secret of Fatima, revealed to the three shepherd children at Cova da Iria-Fatima on July 13, 1917, and committed to paper by Sr. Lucia on January 3, 1944:
"I write in obedience to you, my God, who command me to do so through his Excellency the Bishop of Leiria and through your Most Holy Mother and mine.
"After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendor that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: 'something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White 'we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God."
Unfortunately, Graphology analysis indicates that the handwriting in the published document significantly differs from previously known writings of sister Lucia.
In a 1984 interview to the Italian periodical Jesus, Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Secret corresponds to what is announced in Sacred Scripture.
During this, till few days before, unexpected announcement of the release of the third part of the secret on May 13 in Fatima, the Holy Father himself said that the Message is the fulfillment of the divine plan and during the sermon he cited the text of the Book of the Apocalypse, Chapter 12, verses 1, 3 and 4. These verses refer to a woman clothed in the sun with the moon under her feet doing battle with the dragon, the devil, who sweeps one third of the stars from heaven with its tail.
It is a frequent opinion in the Catholic Bible commentaries that the stars swept from heaven in verse 4 represent the Catholic clergy, who have fallen from the grace of God into a state of apostasy.
EDITORS NOTE: It is known that several comets and asteroids have come close to hitting earth and more are expected that may indeed hit earth very soon. Two comets were close to the sun between Jan. 25, and Jan. 29, 2003. It is possible that debris from one of them could have hit the Columbia Shuttle and caused it to crash. This is speculation, of course, but a possibility.
|In Ezekiel, chapter 47 verse 10, we find a gematria that, not only
shows the link between the numbers 17 and 153, but moreover reminds the
miraculous draught of fishes related by John: "Fishermen will stand along
the shore; from En Gedi (numerical value: 17) to En Eglaim (numerical value:
153) there will be places for spreading nets".
The expression "Word of the Lord" in Greek, Aogoz curiou, numbering 153 by using the gematria in "n", 1+15+3+15+6+22+20+17+9+15+20=153, often begins the prayer of the psalmist, is intercalated in the speeches of the Kings, starts or finishes the advertisements of the prophets.
The expression "It is [the] Lord" in Greek, [O] curioz estin, have a numerical value of 153 by using the gematria in "n": 22+20+17+9+15+6+5+18+19+9+13=153. The "O" at the beginning is not counted.
The numerical value of the Pope John-Paul II, YVHNN PVLVS ShNI, gives 153 by using the gematria in 'n': 10+6+8+14+14=52, 17+6+12+6+15=56 and 21+14+10=45. Therefore 52+56+45 = 153.
"The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number 153". ... Certainly the number 153 is suggestive of the miracle that Jesus preformed in John 21:11. ...
POPE TRAVELS TO JERUSALEM
REDEMPTER'S MATER PAPEL CHAPEL
ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE FALL OF THE PAPACY
THE POPE OF THE BENT CROSS
THE POPE AND CIRCUMSTANCE - AN INTERVIEW
DEATH CALLED ON THE PHONE
IS THE POPE ALREADY DEAD? IS THERE A DOPPELGANGER ON THE THRONE?
DREAMS AND VISIONS OF THE POPE
CATHOLIC CHURCH COUNCILS - THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.
BEING POPE IS A DANGEROUS JOB
OTHER RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL WRITINGS ON THIS SITE
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES - MAIN INDEX