Surgeon confirms that Pope has Parkinson's disease
Pope John Paul II is suffering from Parkinson's disease, according to one of the doctors on the Holy Father's medical team.
Italian orthopaedic surgeon Gianfranco Fineschi, who operated on the Pope in 1994 when he broke his leg, said he was concerned about the Pope's health after a gruelling Jubilee Year.
"Every time the Pope sets off on a journey or when he gets tired during an official engagement, I fear for him," said Dr Fineschi, according to Italian news agency ANSA.
"I should order him to rest but it would be futile," said the doctor in an interview with Oggi magazine, quoted by ANSA. "The various operations he has had and the Parkinson's disease have made him suffer much."
The Vatican has never officially acknowledged the Pope has Parkinson's and this is the first time a member of his medical team has openly linked the Pope with the disease.
"The Holy Father has a heavy framed body, a bit like a swimmer's, but without God's help he would never have made it through the year," said Dr Fineschi.