The Pope's Decline: A Lame Duck In Rome?

As Pope John Paul II prepares to celebrate a quarter-century as Pontiff on Oct. 16, Vatican officials are growing increasingly concerned about his weakening physical condition. On a trip to Slovakia that ended a week ago, the Pope, 83, could finish no more than a few sentences of his opening remarks at the Bratislava airport. Vatican insiders say the apparent effects of Parkinson's disease have become more difficult for the Pope's doctors to control with medication. "They no longer are able to predict how he will be from one day to the next," said a longtime Vatican observer. A Roman Curia...

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