Saturday, May 17, 2003

Vatican confirms Pope has Parkinson's

Pope John Paul II has used prayer to cope with his advancing age and Parkinson's disease, a top Vatican official said in published remarks Saturday the first time a senior official has publicly acknowledged the pontiff suffers from the degenerative disease.Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Congregation of Bishops, made the comments in an interview with the Milan daily newspaper Corriere della Sera on the eve of the pope's 83rd birthday."If we want to look for the secret weapon that has allowed him to beat the years and Parkinson's, we must look to prayer: He puts himself in the hands of God and feels God and the Madonna by his side in the path of life," he was quoted as saying.