Pope Concelebrates Mass and Speaks With Cardinal

John Paul II Doing His Voice Exercises, Says Spokesman

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ROME, MARCH 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II, recovering from his tracheotomy operation, concelebrated Mass in his room in the Gemelli Polyclinic, and spoke with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls revealed this morning. When running into journalists at the hospital’s entrance, he said that “the Pope is well, his conditions improve, as we already said yesterday.”

“Everything is normal,” the spokesman said. He said the Pope had spent a quiet night, his fifth after last Thursday’s operation.

He is “a good patient” and “continues doing his voice exercises,” Navarro Valls said of the Pope.

The director of the Vatican press office confirmed that, when he left the Pope’s room, John Paul II “was preparing to celebrate Mass.”

After visiting the Holy Father, Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, revealed that he had communicated “the greetings of the Congregation for Divine Worship, currently meeting in plenary session in the Vatican.”

On behalf of his congregation, Cardinal Ratzinger expressed “many greetings” to the Pontiff and brought him “some work.”

“The Holy Father spoke with me in German and Italian,” he added. “He paid close attention and will work on the materials I gave him. I am very happy to see that the Holy Father is in full command of his mental faculties and is able to say essential things with his words.”

Although hospitalized, John Paul II still works in his capacity as Pope. Decisions requiring his immediate approval are brought to his attention in the hospital by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, archbishop of Westminster and president of the episcopal conference of England and Wales, went to the Gemelli’s 10th floor, but could not see the Pope because he was concelebrating Mass.

The British archbishop left “a message of prayerful support for the Holy Father,” the episcopal conference reported.

The next health bulletin on the Pope is due from Navarro Valls on Thursday. There will be no general audience on Wednesday.

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