Religion: Twilight Papacy

As Paul turns 80, bishops speculate on the future

It may have been a birthday celebration, but the words were tinged with melancholy. "We feel the fragility of human life," Pope Paul VI told a crowd of 100,000 in St. Peter's Square last week on the day before he turned 80. "The fear of God's judgment at the moment of death is always present and full of mystery."

Earlier, as the Pontiff entered St. Peter's Basilica, borne on a swaying chair, a choir of 10,000 voices performed. TV arc lights played across the colors of...

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