Pope Recuperates after a Week of Celebration, Beatification and Installations

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Following the advice of his doctors, John Paul II opted not to attend Friday’s Mass initiating the new academic year for the Pontifical Universities in Rome.

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Given the celebrations of recent days, and the Holy Father’s exhaustion, an effort is being made “to relieve” him of some of his “engagements,” Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.

The director of the Vatican Press Office did confirm, however, that the Holy Father will attend the audiences scheduled for Saturday.

The solemn Mass, presided over by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, marked the opening of the academic year for the Pontifical Universities of Rome. The cardinal read the homily text that the Holy Father had prepared for the occasion.

According to Navarro-Valls, John Paul II should receive Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, on Nov. 6.

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