"No Reason for Alarm," Says Spokesman

Pope Expected to Stay in Hospital a Few More Days

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 2, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Hours after publishing a statement about the condition of John Paul II’s health, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls said, “There is no reason for alarm.”

The Pope will stay in the hospital for a few days, the spokesman told Vatican Radio today. The time of his stay “will be decided by the doctors.”

In a meeting with journalists, the director of the Vatican press office said that at 10:15 a.m. the Pope celebrated Mass from his bed with his secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. He then had a light lunch and coffee.

The Holy Father’s fever has gone down — “it is now only slight,” said Navarro Valls, who has a medical decree.

He told the media that the Pontiff’s hospitalization was “a precautionary measure,” especially because John Paul II is having trouble breathing.

The Vatican spokesman denied that the Pope had lost consciousness or that he had had a CT scan. Navarro Valls said that no further medical bulletins were planned for today.

When he left the hospital just before noon, the Vatican spokesman told journalists waiting outside Gemelli Polyclinic: “I’m going home; the situation is calm and there is no reason for alarm.”

“A sign that the Pope’s state does not cause great concern is that his doctor did not arrive in the early morning hours at the hospital,” he added.

Many faithful have expressed their spiritual closeness to the Holy Father, praying in St. Peter’s Basilica and in St. Peter’s Square, or taking flowers to the hospital.

Some of the pilgrims who were in Rome to attend the midweek general audience, sent John Paul II red and white flowers, the colors of his native country.

Some 70 Australian students, who hoped to see the Pope at the audience, sang for him outside the hospital.

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ZENIT Staff

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