Pope's Improvement "Striking," Says Official

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- After a visit to the Gemelli Polyclinic, Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said that John Paul II’s improvement is “striking.”

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Fini, who was in the Pope’s hospital suite for more than a half-hour today, mentioned Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls’ press statement in which the latter said that the Holy Father’s convalescence is proceeding without complications after his tracheotomy last Thursday.

“The bulletin says that the Holy Father’s condition gets better and better very rapidly. This fills everyone’s heart with joy,” said Fini.

Later on, when someone asked the foreign minister about the Pope’s improvement, he said it was “striking.”

After visiting the Gemelli Polyclinic, Marco Verzaschi, health consultant for the Latium region, confirmed the optimism of the doctors treating the Holy Father.

“The doctors confirmed John Paul II’s good recovery due to his strong spirit,” reported Verzaschi.

“Therefore, we can look to the future with some confidence and in this situation it is possible that his difficulty in speaking will also be surmounted,” he said. “Paradoxically, the Holy Father might be able to speak better than he did before.”

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