Pope John Paul undergoes surgery
Pontiff asks for 'spiritual solidarity'
October 7, 1996
Web posted at: 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT)
ROME (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II underwent a series of
tests Monday at Rome's Gemelli Hospital, where he is
scheduled to undergo an appendectomy on Tuesday.
The pope's surgeon, Dr. Francesco Crucitti, said that
after a restful night, the 76-year-old pontiff was in
"excellent" spirits and "not at all" anxious about his
In his last Vatican appearance before
appendix surgery, John Paul on Sunday asked the world's
Catholics to pray for him while in the hospital during a
Sunday ceremony to elevate
16 people to possible sainthood.
"I ask you to accompany me with your prayers," the pope told
the huge crowd in St. Peter's Square. "I send warm greetings
to those in the hospital or in nursing homes, knowing that I
can count on their spiritual solidarity."
The pope entered the
hospital Sunday, and he is to undergo surgery for the
removal of an inflamed appendix Tuesday. The pontiff has had
major abdominal surgery three times at the hospital since
Wearing emerald green vestments, the pope appeared tired
at times during Sunday's two-and-a-half hour ceremony. He
on several occasions while reading his homily, and his left
hand trembled noticeably -- an affliction that has fueled
widespread speculation from the media and doctors who are not
treating him that the pope suffers from Parkinson's
disease or other neurological disorders.
The Vatican has denied all reports about a chronic condition.
Thousands crowded into the
square, many waving flags from the
pope's homeland of Poland. "He deserves this small sign of
solidarity," said Stefano Pola.
Those beatified -- the penultimate step leading to sainthood
in the church -- included 13 fellow Poles massacred by
Russian soldiers for their loyalty to Rome in 1874, a Spanish
and a Polish nun and Irishman Edmund Ignatius Rice, founder
of the Christian Brothers teaching orders that are located
throughout the world.
Press and Reuters
contributed to this report.
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