Reports of a resignation were published Monday by the Czech weekly newspaper Tyden, citing Church sources in Poland.

But in statements to the press, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, Vatican spokesman, said: "At present, [the Pope] has a full program for the next six months, which includes canonization ceremonies and different ´ad limina´ visits" of national episcopates.

Navarro-Valls added that there are also papal appointments scheduled for 2003.

The Czech newspaper said that if he resigned, the Pope would retire to a monastery near Krakow.