NPR logo Pope's Condition Worsens


Pope's Condition Worsens

A file photograph shows Pope John Paul II arriving at the altar to celebrate a mass in Krakow's Blonie meadow Aug. 18, 2002. Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John Paul II was clinging to life in deteriorating condition Friday, with his breath shallow and his kidneys not functioning properly after suffering heart trouble, the Vatican said.

"The general conditions and cardio-respiratory conditions of the Holy Father have further worsened," the Vatican said in a statement.

Earlier, it said the 84-year-old pontiff suffered massive heart problems and was in "very grave" condition, but he was lucid and spent the morning celebrating Mass and receiving top aides, asking one to read him the biblical account of Christ's Crucifixion and burial.