Religion: The Pope's Illness

Around the world all week long ran a quiet concern: the Pope was gravely ill.

It began with what the Vatican paper, L'Osservatore Romano, called "a slight indisposition." Pius XII, close to his 78th birthday (March 2), had been afflicted with an attack of hiccups, at first sporadic, then almost incessant and accompanied by a slight fever. But he carried on through his normal day: rising at about 6, saying Mass, and working until near 2 in the morning.

After four days, the hiccuping subsided and he had his first good night's rest. He sent for his car to...