Pope Back to Hospital, Worse Health - Report

Politics | March 22, 2005, Tuesday // 00:00

Pope John Paul II has had fresh breathing problems and his health is worsening, Italy's newspapers reported on Tuesday, fuelling rumours that the head of the Roman Catholic Church has been taken back to hospital.

Several newspapers reported fresh fears over the health of the 84-year-old pontiff after rumours that he was being taken to hospital for the third time in seven weeks swept through the international media in Rome late Monday.

However, the Vatican insisted that there were no new developments in his condition, but could not help avoiding the shadow over the Roman Catholic Church's preparations for Easter Holy Week.

John Paul II was hospitalised twice last month with acute breathing problems linked to his Parkinson's disease and the flu. He had throat surgery on February 24 when doctors inserted a tube into his neck to ease his breathing. He has been back at the Vatican since March 13.

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