World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Pope John Paul II Back In Hospital After Relapse

Pope John Paul II Back In Hospital After Relapse

VATICAN LETTER Feb-24-2005 - Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As the Vatican was beginning a conference on the future of the Catholic Church and the media Feb. 24, Pope John Paul II was taken back to the hospital.

In a week that saw the release of a papal apostolic letter pledging the church's commitment to openness with the media, very little information was provided to the press or the public.

"Yesterday afternoon, Feb. 23, the Holy Father had a relapse of the flu syndrome with which he had been affected in the preceding weeks," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters Feb. 24. "For that reason, the pope was hospitalized this morning at the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic for the appropriate specialized care and further tests."

The only question the spokesman answered was "What time?" He answered that the pope arrived at Rome's Gemelli Hospital at about 11:45 a.m.

He let journalists discover for themselves that the pope arrived at the hospital by ambulance, just as he had Feb. 1 when he was rushed to Gemelli for breathing difficulties.

The pope had remained hospitalized until Feb. 10, and sources said he was experiencing similar difficulties Feb. 24, leading to another trip to the hospital.

Just before the Vatican press office closed Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. -- the normal closing time Monday through Friday -- Navarro-Valls' assistant, Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, told reporters there would be no further information until late morning Feb. 25.

The announcement that the pope was in the hospital drew reporters and cameras away from the Feb. 24-26 symposium on the church and the media being sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Opening the conference a few hours before the pope was hospitalized, U.S. Archbishop John P. Foley, council president, said the pope's Feb. 21 apostolic letter, "The Rapid Development," spoke of communications as "an integral part of the mission of the church."

"Just as the world of education and the world of charity and social service were viewed as natural places for the mission and ministry of the church -- as they still are -- the media now form an integral part of the mission and ministry of the church," Archbishop Foley said.

Conference themes included how the media deal with the church as well as how the church deals with the media.

The pope had written in his new letter: "Communication both within the church community and between the church and the world at large requires openness."

Openness, however, always must be tempered by "an adequate confidentiality" to protect individuals and their privacy, the pope wrote.

The question about privacy has arisen repeatedly in the past in connection with Pope John Paul's health.

For the Vatican, specifics about the pope's condition, the diagnosis of the Parkinson-like neurological disorder he suffers from and the treatment he is receiving are all private matters.

Navarro-Valls told Vatican Radio Feb. 24, "As is customary in these cases, we will release a bulletin every day in the late morning with the information the physicians feel they can share with the public."

The radio reported that as the Vatican press office was closing Italian and foreign journalists were gathering at Gemelli Hospital "awaiting more precise data on the pope's condition."

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications was given a concrete case study for its symposium, featuring the media's interest in the pope's health, the limitations the Vatican feels in sharing details about his condition and the modern media's thirst for constantly updated information to fill 24-hour news programs and Web sites.

News that the pope was in the hospital arrived at the conference during a speech on how the church can evangelize through the media.

Bishop Renato Boccardo, who helped organize the conference before he was named secretary-general of the Vatican governor's office, was on the dais answering his mobile phone.

When the speaker finished, Bishop Boccardo shared the news. But most of the working journalists, who have their own mobile phones, already had left the conference site in search of more information.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news