Medical Reports on Pope Clarified by Vatican Sources

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 1, 2002 ( The Vatican clarified reports in a Paris newspaper which claimed John Paul II’s health improved thanks to treatment prescribed by a French researcher.

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Dr. Luc Montagnier, regarded by some as the discoverer of the AIDS virus, gave the Pope pills for «oxidative stress» during an audience in early June, according to Le Monde. But it was never confirmed that the Pontiff took them, sources close to the Pope told ZENIT and other news media.

The pills in question are made from an extract of fermented Asian papayas that contains antioxidants and stimulates the immune system, Le Monde said.

«The Pope trusts his personal physicians to choose the most appropriate treatments,» the Vatican sources said.

Le Monde’s reports were published after journalists who accompanied the Pope on his recent trips abroad were amazed at his physical stamina.

Before the trips, some French media described the Holy Father as paralyzed and physically weak. In fact, he has kept up his ordinary work schedule.

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