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Media makes big deal of Pope's 'little fever'

Pope John Paul II's rest in Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic, for what papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls called "just a little fever", has been subject to an unusual rush of media attention over the past 24 hours.

Tests showed the pontiff's heart and breathing were normal after he was admitted to hospital with respiratory problems. He was rushed there early yesterday Australian time from his Vatican apartment, where he had been battling the flu for several days.

Anxiety has been running high over the Pope's Parkinson's disease and other ailments, but the spokesman said that the decision to admit him to hospital was "mainly a precaution."

He noted that the Pope was not in intensive care but in the same tenth floor suite of rooms where he has been during several previous stays at the clinic.

The pope has the flu and acute laryngeal tracheitis, he said, acknowledging that John Paul had a "certain difficulty in breathing."

The papal spokesman denied Italian news reports that John Paul had a CAT scan at the hospital. He said more tests would be done today.

Anticipating a downturn in the Holy Father's condition, Melbourne's Herald-Sun today published special tributes to the Pope and an article speculating on possible successors. The report suggests there are no clear favourites at present, but "if the conclave were to be held this year, Vatican experts say the cardinals could find themselves looking towards a compromise candidate -- possibly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a pragmatic conservative who has been the current pontiff's right-hand man on doctrinal issues".

Ailing Pope has 'just a little fever' (The Scotsman 2/2/05)
Pope, hospitalized with breathing difficulties, is stable (Vatican Information Service 2/2/05)
Aussie to choose from open field for new Pope (Herald-Sun 3/2/05)

Policlinico Gemelli

Pope urges improved screening for seminarians (CathNews 2/2/05)
Flu-stricken Pope lies low (CathNews 1/2/05)
Recalcitrant peace dove refuses to leave papal apartment (CathNews 31/1/05)
Pope's Lenten message urges respect for elderly (CathNews 28/1/05)

Pope Photo Gallery (Herald-Sun 3/2/05)
Pope hospitalized with breathing problems (Catholic News Service 1/2/05)
Pope hospitalized with breathing problems; condition stabilizes (Catholic News Service 2/2/05)
Vatican delays update on Pope's health (ABC/AFP 2/2/05)
Speculation rife about successor ( 2/2/05)
The Pope has a slight fever and took part in Mass ( 2/2/05)
Pope's condition stabalises, will remain in hospital (Irish Times 2/2/05)
Ailing Pope is rushed to hospital (Daily Telegraph 3/2/05)
British Catholics Reassured over Pope's Health (The Scotsman 2/2/05)
Pope's condition stabilises, Vatican says (ABC/Reuters 2/2/05)
Pope appoints bishops from hospital bed (ABC/AFP 2/2/05)
Uncertainty remains over Pope's condition (ABC Radio PM 2/2/05)
Pope hospitalised ( 2/2/05)
Pope's condition improves overnight but will remain in hospital (Catholic News Agency 2/2/05)
Vatican source warns against so-called "expert" speculations on Pope's health (Catholic News Agency 2/2/05)
Spotlight on Pope's health crisis (The Courier Mail/Reuters 3/2/05)
Pope's condition stabilized; will remain in hospital (Catholic World News 2/2/05)
The Forum: Background: the Pope's previous hospital trips (Catholic World News 2/2/05)
Pope Rushed to the Hospital With the Flu (The Guardian/Associated Press 2/2/05)
Pope's Spokesman Says Situation 'Calm' (The Guardian/Associated Press 2/2/05)
Vatican Confirms Diagnosis of Pope (The Guardian/Associated Press 2/2/05)
Pope's Heart, Respiration Said Normal (The Guardian/Associated Press 2/2/05)
Pope to Spend a Few More Days in Hospital (The Guardian/Associated Press 2/2/05)
Life and times of Pope John Paul II (Herald-Sun 2/2/05)
Flu-racked Pope in health struggle (Herald-Sun 3/2/05)
Watch on Pope over health scare (Herald-Sun 3/2/05)
Ailing Pope taken to hospital (Independent Catholic News 2/2/05)
Pope spends peaceful night in hospital (Independent Catholic News 2/2/05)
Vatican spokesman, Pope's health "within normal limits and stable" (Missionary Service News Agency 2/2/05)
Pope has restful night ( 2/2/05)
Pope's Condition Stabilizes, Vatican Says (Reuters 2/2/05)
Pope 'Quite Well,' Spent Peaceful Night -- Ansa (Reuters 2/2/05)
Poles Pray for 'Their' Pope's Health (Reuters 2/2/05)
Appeal for calm after Pope health scare (Sydney Morning Herald 3/2/05)
Pope has 'restful night' in hospital (Sydney Morning Herald/AFP 3/2/05)
Pope suffers breathing difficulties (Sydney Morning Herald/AP 2/2/05)
No cause for alarm on Pope: Vatican (The Age/Reuters 3/2/05)
Hospital watch on stricken Pope (The Australian 2/2/05)
Stay tuned as the Word spreads (The Australian 3/2/05)
Pope recovers to hold mass (The Australian 3/2/05)
Pope appoints bishops (The Australian 3/2/05)
Pope in hospital with 'crisis' breathing (Irish Independent 2/2/05)
Other Pontifical Acts (Vatican Information Service 2/2/05)
'Pope stable' says Vatican (SBS 2/2/05)
Pope Cancels General Audience Over Flu (Zenit 1/2/05)
Get Ready for "Christian Spring," Urges John Paul II (Zenit 1/2/05)
Teaching the Faith Involves Everyone, Says Pope (Zenit 1/2/05)
Papal Prayer Intention: the Sick (Zenit 1/2/05)

3 Feb 2005