Pope recovering from surgery

Pope John Paul II was recovering in hospital after surgery to help him breathe was successful, Vatican sources said.

    The Pope spent a peaceful night after surgery

    The Vatican on Friday said the leader of one billion Roman Catholics had spent a peaceful night in hospital after surgery to pass a tube through his throat down into his lungs to help him breathe.

      

    His tracheotomy means he will not be able to speak "for some days", Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said. But the Pope managed to have breakfast consisting of a cafe latte, yoghurt and small Italian 'biscotti', consuming it "with a good appetite".

      

    The 84-year-old Pope, who was hospitalised on Thursday for the second time in less than a month after a relapse of flu, has reigned for 26 years and is for many younger Catholics the only pontiff they have ever known.

     

    Special place

      

    His very public battles against Parkinson's disease and his failing health have won him a special place in the hearts of many of the world's Catholics as well as many non-Catholic leaders.

      

    "The holy father is in our thoughts and prayers and we wish him a speedy recovery and return to the service of his church and of all humanity"

    George Bush,
    US President

    US President George Bush took the time while flying home from a whirlwind reconciliation tour with European leaders to send his best wishes to John Paul, who became the first non-Italian pope in four-and-a-half centuries.

      

    "The holy father is in our thoughts and prayers and we wish him a speedy recovery and return to the service of his church and of all humanity," Bush said in a statement.

      

    During the build-up to the war in Iraq, the Vatican became an obligatory stopover for world leaders seeking to overturn the pope's fierce opposition to any invasion of the country - a stance in which he never wavered.

      

    The first Pope from eastern Europe, Karol Wojtyla is seen as the 263rd direct successor to Saint Peter as Bishop of Rome.

     

    There are four possible candidates from Latin America who could be named to succeed John Paul should he finally succumb to his years of ill health.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.