Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pope has a Tracheotomy

Pope John Paul II was admitted to hospital for the second time in a month this evening, and this time the situation is worse than before. The Pontiff had an 'elective' tracheotomy to assist with his breathing. The procedure took roughly half an hour and involved cutting a small hole in the Pope's throat and inserting a tube to help him breath.

According to a spokesperson for Italy's Prime Minister, the Pope is conscious and "serene".

Elena Curti, editor of a London-based Catholic publication, is quoted by the CBC as saying that it was "painful" to hear the Pope speak on Wednesday. She added that "This pontificate has been in its twilight for some time now, for a year or more."

Curti also suggested that Vatican officials have begun to look at possible successors to the aging Pontiff. The leading candidates are thought to be Dionigi Tettamanzi, a Conservative Italian Cardinal favoured by Opus Dei, and Francis Arinze, a black Cardinal from Nigeria. Outsiders include an American, a Jew, an academic who's under 60 and a Brazilian.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves here. I'm not a religious person, but my girlfriend and her entire family are practicing Catholics. If for no other reason than that, I truly hope the Pope pulls through this. He's done a phenomenal job in most regards and has brought the church into the 21st century.

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