Is the Pope Still in Charge?

Who is really running the show at the Vatican?

Pope John Paul II appears to be recovering after being hospitalized last week with a respiratory infection, the result of a bout with the flu. But his latest health scare has revived a heavy question hovering over St. Peter's Square: Who is really running the show?

Despite his physical frailties brought on by Parkinson's disease, his collaborators say John Paul, 84, is mentally alert and capable of making big calls on the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. But even the most steadfast Vatican loyalists concede that a substantial chunk of his workload has been delegated to top subordinates in Rome....

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