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Pope Hospitalized...

...but later reports indicate he's probably not in grave danger.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - U.S. medical experts said the condition for which the pope was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday night involved a blockage of air to the lungs that can last up to one minute.

The Vatican announced the 84-year-old Pope John Paul II had been hospitalized with acute laryngospasm -- an episode in which air to the lungs is blocked in the larynx for up to a minute.

"It's short-lived, but during that time you can turn a bit blue and it is very worrisome if you ever have it, it feels like you are going to die," said James Thomas, a laryngologist in Portland, Oregon. "It's very frightening."

Such an episode is very rarely fatal, experts said, but is more problematic for an elderly person with medical problems such as the pope.

"He's an elderly man and that's a serious problem for an elderly patient," said Gerald Berke, chief of head and neck surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.

"He's got other medical problems and anything that perturbs his respiratory system is probably a serious event. But having said that, very seldom do you hear of patients that pass from this particular event."

No need to add a two hundred and fifty-fifth pope to the pizza, yet...

Comments (4)

I just pray that he will ov... (Below threshold)

I just pray that he will overcome this and get through it; as hard as it is for him to function on a daily basis, it would kill me to lose that so very holy man. If the cameras are on him, he's touring, or doing a mass, or making someone a saint, I watch him knowing the kind of pain he's in and i just cry though the whole thing. I'm a sap anyway but the Pope does steal my heart and makesme cry. Funny thing is, although he was sick last week during his mass/speech to the people, he looked like he had a lot of energy and spirit which is why I don't think he will live much longer,


He has been a Pope of great... (Below threshold)

He has been a Pope of great historic dimensions - within and without his Church. He helped defeat the USSR, and for this the whole of humanity owes him a great debt.

On other issues his record has been mixed, especially of late: I think that the Vatican has dropped the ball on their sex scandals, and that a return to a married clergy is needed to save the Church in Europe from disappearing. This Pope has not acted well on these fronts - in my humble AND NON-CATHOLIC opinion. (I am not Catholic, but have read A LOT about the Church's history - especially about it from the 5th Century to the 20th.)

Here is a list of the SEVEN Cardinals I feel might most likely be selected (in order of likelihood) in the inevitable and still sad event of the Pope's eventual crossing-over:

Juan-Luis Cipriani-Thorne (Peru, 12/28/43); Jean Louis Tauron (France, 4/3/43); Polycarp Pengo (Tanzania 8/5/44); Vinco Puljic (Bosnia-Herzegovina, 9/8/45); Josef Bozanic (Croatia 3/20/49); Crescenzio Seppe (Italy, 6/2/43); Angelo Scola (Italy, 11/7/41).

(Links take you to official English Bio's/cv's and a photo.)

These are the youngest Cardinals with the best pedigrees/resumes, and they're from countries with special histories and cultures. A majority of Cardinals in the conservative College of Cardinals may feel that the background and ethnicity three of these potential popes (the South American, the African, and the two from the Balkans) gives each of them a unique potential to deal with the issues and problems that the Church is likely to confront in the near future: maintaining conservative doctrine while innovating the Church's apparatus in order to continue to grow in the Third World and to begin growing again (instead of shrinking) in the old bastions of Catholicism - like most of Western Europe, (especially France - where the Church is under severe threat of vanishing, and where a "French Pope" might make a HUGE difference). The Italian Cardinals are, naturally, "hometown favorites."

Other bloggers may have more insight into the current political intrigues of the CoC's. Or gossip. This list merely represents my somewhat educated guess. I think the CoC's will pick a conservative from a country or region that has seriously dealt with all forms of outreach and a Cardinal who has been good at it. Additionally, the Church has been growing most in Africa and South America - which may give these two Cardinals an edge that they might not have enjoyed a few decades ago. All "look" papal.

That being said, I want to again extend my wishes for a speedy recovery for the Pope. I hope that not too many of you feel that thinking about who may become the next Pope is ghoulish. Mature people make preparations for the inevitable. The Pope's age and frailty mean that his eventual passing - as sad as that is for many MANY millions of people - is much closer than ever before.

His Holiness is supposedly ... (Below threshold)

His Holiness is supposedly going to be okay even though he'll be remaining in the hospital. He's been through so much, such pain for so many years and despite it all, carries on. You don't have to agree with everything he says but you can't help but respect and care about such a holy man.

Any word on Dick Clark?

Reliapundit, I'll be one of... (Below threshold)

Reliapundit, I'll be one of the many millions who will be devastated by the Pope's passing. Unlike those before him, he's made himself available to all, all over the world. When a channel carries an event of his, my eyes are on him and just from his body language, can tell how he's feelings and how he fights it. He is extremely frail and there are always millions there to see him wherever he goes and I sob through the whole thing wishing I was one of the people to be touched by him personally.

I am a Catholic but don't agree with many of the rules, so now I just say I'm Christian. But this Pope tears my heart apart.







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