Former Papal Doctor Reveals Secrets about Holy Father and World Leaders

Denies Statements about Pope´s Health

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ROME, JAN. 6, 2001 (ZENIT.org).- The latest issue of «Oggi» magazine features an interview with the doctor who performed John Paul II´s hip replacement surgery in 1994. Dr. Gianfranco Fineschi cites many statements the Pope made to him while under his care, especially regarding world leaders.

The Vatican has not yet confirmed or denied the statements made in the magazine, but Dr. Fineschi is already complaining that some of his comments were twisted by the magazine. For instance, in the published interview, he is quoted as saying that the Pope´s Parkinson´s disease has impeded his activities in the Jubilee year. If this quote were true, it would be the first confirmation of that disease, widely speculated by the media, from the mouth of a doctor who had actually treated the Holy Father.

However, Dr. Fineschi says that what he actually said was, «I cannot exclude that he suffers from a Parkinson´s-like illness, but it is not in my field.»

Dr. Fineschi also made several comments about world leaders. He said that the Pope told him, «The only leader I did not manage to have a proper conversation with was Clinton. I was speaking, and he was looking at one of the walls, admiring the frescoes and the paintings. He was not listening to me.»

He claims that both Polish President General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who introduced martial law in Poland in 1981 to crush the pro-freedom and pro-Catholic Solidarity movement, and Chilean President Augusto Pinochet told the Pope that they were Catholics, but incapable of changing the situation in their countries.

Dr. Fineschi added that the Holy Father said of Pinochet, «After our meeting he tried, within his limits, to improve the harsher aspects of his regime.»

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