Pope John Paul II has suffered serious heart problems and is in a grave condition, the Vatican has announced.
The urgent communique came hours after the Pope’s health worsened with a high fever caused by an infection.
“Following a urinary tract infection, septic shock and a cardiocirculatory collapse occurred,” Vatican spokesman Navarro-Valls said in his statement.
On Thursday he received the Saint Viaticum, the Catholics’ last rites for the sick and dying, the spokesman said.
This is a sign that his closest advisers fear that the end of one of the longest papal reigns is fast approaching, says the BBC’s David Willey in Rome.
Whether or not you share the man’s faith, I know many share his hopes and dreams of peace for all mankind.