VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican’s spokesman criticized as “irresponsible” media reports that John Paul II had undergone dialysis.
Joaquín Navarro-Valls, director of the Vatican press office, categorically denied reports by two Italian agencies that the Pope had undergone dialysis. He called the reports “amazing” as “there was no truth in them.”
“I think it is just irresponsible” reporting, Navarro-Valls said in an interview transmitted Saturday on Vatican Radio.
“The fact is that during this pontificate, so transparent on these topics, we have always given information when it was necessary: before and after the Pope’s hospitalizations, and on his operations, etc.,” the spokesman said.
Navarro-Valls urged journalists to confirm news with authorized individuals before they publish.
Today, as usual, John Paul II greeted the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the midday Angelus. On Saturday, he met with more than 3,000 Sardinian pilgrims and received in audience President Xanana Gusmao of East Timor, and Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the apostolic nuncio in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Regarding the Pope’s health, Navarro-Valls suggested that his public appearances be followed on television or radio.
“It is obvious that the Pope has visible physical limitations; he does not show them but neither does he hide them,” Navarro-Valls said. “At the same time, he makes a great effort so these physical limitations will not be an obstacle to his mission.”