Publisher Says Pope Is Speaking Normally

Attends a Mass the Holy Father Concelebrated

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ROME, MARCH 10, 2005 ( John Paul II appears physically weak but manages to speak with a normal voice, says the Polish publisher of his latest book.

Henryk Wozniakoswski, president of Znak, a Krakow publishing house that is issuing “Memory and Identity,” was in Rome to request the Pope to sign one of the 500,000 copies of his book that will soon go on sale.

Wozniakoswski told Polish radio station RMF-FM that he attended the Mass the Holy Father concelebrated on Wednesday morning, on the 10th floor of the Gemelli Polyclinic, where he has been hospitalized since his tracheotomy Feb. 24.

Concelebrating with the Pope, who remained seated, was his secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz. Also in the little chapel were nuns who are looking after the Holy Father, hospital staff, and security agents, said the Polish publisher.

“The Pope is weakened, has lost weight, but speaks. And he speaks with a normal voice,” Wozniakoswski added.

“To me he seemed as always; I did not find him particularly prostrate,” he continued. “I thought the Pope had problems with the tube, but it is not the case.”

“He was very happy,” the publisher said. “He patted the book, signed it with a trembling hand, and then added: ‘It must go among the people; it must go among the people.'”

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