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Last Rites administered to Pope

CNN reported at 8:00 am this morning Sydney time that Pope John Paul II, stricken with a high fever and a urinary tract infection, has received the Sacrament of the Sick.

But it reminded viewers that the administration of the sacrament "does not necessarily mean that the pope is dying". The pope received the sacrament after he was shot by a would-be assassin in 1981.

The Vatican confirmed that teh Holy Father is suffering from a high fever caused by a urinary tract infection. The revelation came 24 hours after condirmation that he had been put on a nasal feeding tube for nutrition.

The pope is taking antibiotics, a Vatican spokesman said.

Medical sources at Gemelli Hospital in Rome, where Pope John Paul II has been hospitalised twice since February, told CNN that no provisions are being made for the Pope to be readmitted for treatment.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement released on Wednesday: "To improve his calorific intake and promote an efficient recovery of his strength, nutrition via the positioning of a nasal-gastric tube has begun."

Earlier Wednesday, the pope appeared at his studio window and blessed the thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square.

Vatican source: Pope given last rites (CNN 8:00 am Friday Sydney time)

Extreme Unction (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Nasal feeding tube fixed to Pope (CathNews 1/4/05)
Pope to have mountain named after him (CathNews 30/3/05)
Pope's silent Easter Sunday blessing, then no show Monday (CathNews 29/3/05)
Audience cancelled, but Pope blesses crowd from window (CathNews 24/3/05)
Fresh doubts about Pope's health (CathNews 23/3/05)
Palm Sunday pilgrims retrace Jesus' trip to Jerusalem (CathNews 21/3/05)
Pope marks anniversary of Gaudium et Spes (CathNews 18/3/05)
No more updates on Pope's health crisis (CathNews 17/3/05)
Era of 'video-pope' approaches (CathNews 15/3/05)
Pope returns home from hospital (CathNews 14/3/05)
Pell says distance creates Australian uncertainty about Pope's health (CathNews 14/3/05)
Pope to come home for Holy Week (CathNews 11/3/05)
Pope a non-starter for Holy Week (CathNews 9/3/05)
Pope told to use gestures to spare voice (CathNews 8/3/05)
Pope's message to Berlusconi on hero Nicola Calipari (CathNews 7/3/05)
Pope hoping to be home for Easter (CathNews 4/3/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 4/3/05)
Pope celebrates Mass in hospital room (CathNews 2/3/05)
Chilean cardinal to announce Pope's successor (CathNews 1/3/05)
Pell backs Pope resolve to carry on (CathNews 28/2/05)
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 John Paul has 'high fever' (BBC 31/3/05 - 8:05 am Fri Sydney time)
Pope's condition worsens: report (The Age/Australian Associated Press 4/1/05)
Pope's decline raises issues of doctrine (Sydney Morning Herald 1/4/05)
Pope feeds via tube (Daily Telegraph 1/4/05)
Hans Küng: The Pope's Contradictions (Der Spiegel 26/3/05)
Ali Agca says Vatican insiders aided assassination plot (Catholic World News 31/3/05)
Opinion: The Pope Continues to Provoke (Deutsche Welle 30/3/05)
Pope Personifies Drama of Chronic Illness (The Guardian/Associated Press 31/3/05)
Frail Pope Stresses Dignity for Ill (The Guardian/Associated Press 31/3/05)
Doctrine supports feeding tube's use (Associated Press/Indianapolis Star 31/3/05)
Pope's 'Living Will' Wants Life Support to the End (Reuters 31/3/05)
Ailing Pope Becomes Object Lesson in Right to Die Cases (Associated Press/St Petersburg Times 1/4/05)

32 Apr 2005