Pell backs Pope resolve to carry on
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has said that Pope John Paul II should remain in his position as pontiff as long as he can communicate, despite being "gravely sick".
Cardinal Pell told the media that the Holy Father should continue to lead the church even if he can only communicate by writing.
"The Pope has said he is not going to retire, I accept that," said Pell, who is one of the cardinal-electors who will choose a new pope.
However, he said if the pope's health deteriorated badly, then other options may need to be considered.
"If the Pope would completely lose his faculties, and that looked as though that might go on for quite a while, then we've got a new situation," Pell told news agency Australian Associated Press after mass yesterday.
Pope John Paul II was rushed to hospital last Thursday for the second time this month suffering from complications of the flu and other ailments including Parkinson's disease. He is currently breathing through a hole in his throat after a tracheotomy on Thursday that left him unable to speak and dependent on written messages as his only means of communication.
Pell requested the congregation to pray for the Holy Father, whom he described as "gravely sick".
"He's gravely sick, he's been very sick for quite some time. He's obviously deteriorated further," said Cardinal Pell. "We don't know what the prognosis is. We should certainly pray for him at this time that his faith will remain strong and that he will be peaceful," he said after Sunday mass.
Pell, who will flies to Rome today on a pre-scheduled trip, is one of the 120 cardinal-electors from around the world required to attend the closed conclave which meets in Rome's Sistine Chapel to elect Popes under the strict protocol set out in the church document, the Universi Dominici Gregis.
He said the trip has nothing to do with the Pope's health, adding: "I'm off to Rome tomorrow for a couple of meetings this week and a meeting next week.
"I'll be back today fortnight if nothing spectacular happens in the next week."
Meanwhile the Pope made a surprise appearance at his hospital window in Rome at 9:00 pm last night Sydney time. This was the first sighting of him since undergoing surgery on his throat last Thursday. He was expected to miss his regular Sunday appearance.
Aides wheeled him to the window shortly after midday local time. He waved to the applauding crowd outside the Gemelli Hospital, made the sign of the cross and touched his throat briefly as he lingered at the closed window for a couple of minutes.
Australian cardinal says pope to remain head despite being 'gravely ill' (Yahoo/AFP 27/2/05)
Pope appears at hospital window to give blessing (ABC News/AFP 27/2/05)
Pope set for tracheotomy procedure (CathNews 25/2/05)
Mixed signals on Pope recovery (CathNews 23/2/05)
New Pope book hits Jewish sensitivities (ICathNews 21/2/05)
Pope tells media to promote truth, not trash (CathNews 22/2/05)
Vatican official urges effort to reach lapsed Catholics (CathNews 4/6/04)
Pope again encourages use of Internet for evangelisation (CathNews 18/2/04)
Vatican official urges advertising that promotes human dignity (CathNews 29/10/03)
64% in US use Internet for religious reasons (CathNews 19/5/04)
Pope says truth in media serves cause of peace (CathNews 26/3/03)
Pope needs our prayers: Pell (National Nine News/AAP 27/2/05)
Pell urges ailing Pope not to quit (The Sun-Herald 27/2/05)
Pope should stay on, says Pell (The Age 26/2/05)
Cardinal George Pell: Pope a 'living symbol of unity' (Catholic Weekly 27/2/05)
Pope eating solid foods, breathing on own (Big News Network 26/2/05)
David Willey: Gossip rules at the Vatican (BBC 25/2/05)
Sick, Silent Pope to Skip Blessing for First Time (Reuters 27/2/05)
Catholics and Anglicans live opposite church dramas (Reuters 27/2/05)
Pope recovering well from tracheotomy operation (ABC Radio AM 26/2/05)
Medical experts fear for Pope (ABC 26/2/05)
Catholics face leadership questions (ABC Radio PM 25/2/05)
Pope John Paul waves from hospital window and asks for prayers (ABC Radio Australia 28/2/05)
Pope recovers from tracheotomy operation (ABC Radio The World Today 25/2/05)
Angelus without the Pope, people pray for his health, Pope greets crowds from hospital window (AsiaNews.it 27/2/05)
Dialogue between opposition and pro-Syrian faction urgent, says Maronite Patriarch (AsiaNews.it 27/2/05)
Pope's Blessing Given by Aide; `Pray for Me,' John Paul Says (Bloomberg 27/2/05)
Pope undergoes successful elective tracheotomy (Catholic News Service 24/2/05)
Pope spends calm night, breathes on own after tracheotomy (Catholic News Service 25/2/05)
Pope John Paul resting; breathing on own following tracheotomy (Catholic News Agency 25/2/05)
Quebec cardinals ask Canadians to pray for Pope (Catholic News Agency 25/2/05)
Pope recovering, but doctors voice concerns (Catholic World News 25/2/05)
Brief papal appearance at hospital window (Catholic World News 27/2/05)
"The Pope's pain is the same as the pain of war suffered by Burundians" a Catholic priest in Burundi told Fides (Fides 25/2/05)
Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid asks Catholics in the capital to pray for the health of the Pope; Archbishop of Toledo calls on contemplative orders to pray for the Pontiff (Fides 25/2/05)
Americans Reflect on Experiences With Pope (The Guardian/Associated Press 26/2/05)
Humor helps Pope deal with health crises (Associated Press/Boston Herald 27/2/05)
Vatican Sees Pope's Suffering As Message (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 25/2/05)
Americans Recall Experiences With Pope (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 26/2/05)
Pope Message Shows Devotion to Virgin Mary (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 26/2/05)
Missed blessings for ailing pontiff (Herald-Sun 28/2/05)
Holy Father gives blessing from hospital window (Independent Catholic News 27/2/05)
Pope's message about Africa (Missionary Service News Agency 25/2/05)
Pope Rests in Hospital, Speculation Over Recovery Time (Reuters 27/2/05)
Pope's new book inflames passions (Sydney Morning Herald 26/2/05)
Vatican divided on ailing Pope (The Sun-Herald 27/2/05)
Vatican inner circle tightens net (Sydney Morning Herald 28/2/05)
Frail Pope to watch traditional blessing in hospital (London Telegraph 27/2/05)
Pope 'serene' in hospital (The Age 25/2/05)
Pope may be silenced forever (The Age 26/2/05)
Resignations rare, but not impossible (The Age 26/2/05)
Power struggle looms at Vatican (The Australian 28/2/05)
Pope appears at window (Reuters/The Mercury 28/2/05)
Vatican tells Pope he must delegate duties (Sunday Times 27/2/05)
Pope absent from Angelus (SBS 27/2/05)
Pope Breathing Well After Tracheotomy (Zenit 24/2/05)
John Paul II, Still "Totus Tuus" (Zenit 25/2/05)
Holy Father's Admirers Crowd the Gemelli (Zenit 25/2/05)
28 Feb 2005