[QODLink]
Archive
Cardinal believes Pope has months left
A senior European cardinal has said Pope John Paul is nearing death and approaching the last days and months of his life.
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2003 18:49 GMT
Pope John Paul suffers from Parkinson's Disease
A senior European cardinal has said Pope John Paul is nearing death and approaching the last days and months of his life.

Speaking on Austrian radio, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said on Thursday that the pontiff was sick, handicapped and dying.

"The whole world is experiencing a pope who is sick, handicapped and dying. I don’t know how close to death he is, who is approaching the last days and months of his life," the cardinal said.

His remarks came on the same day the pope's private secretary sought to underplay concerns about the pontiff's failing health.

The pope, 83, and suffering from Parkinson's Disease cannot walk without help and has increasingly looked weaker than normal in recent public appearances.

He has also struggled to speak at times.

"The whole world is experiencing a pope who is sick, handicapped and dying"

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn

Schoenborn, head of the Catholic Church in Austria and archbishop of Vienna, is seen as a possible successor to the pope, who celebrates the 25th anniversary of being head of the Roman Catholic Church later this month.

Vatican Denials

Earlier during the day, Archbiship Stanislaw Dziwisz, the pope's private secretary, said recent comments by another senior cardinal about the pope's condition had been taken out of context.

A German cardinal had earlier remarked that the pope was "in a bad way."  He had called on the faithful to pray for the pope.

The Vatican has insisted that the pope intends to push ahead with a hectic programme of events this month, including the 25th anniversary celebrations, the beatification of Mother Teresa and a ceremony to invest some 30 new cardinals.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list