Action Alert!

Not too nervous...

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Jan 31, 2005

This morning, in announcing that the Holy Father is suffering from "flu-like symptoms," papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls added an interesting note: "However, the 2005 Pontifical Yearbook was presented to him."

Why did he mention that?

Our guess is that it was a signal. Since everyone is understandably nervous about the Pope's health, Navarro-Valls was indicating that John Paul is not too sick to sit up and acknowledge receipt of a book.

That's not much comfort, but it's something. The message, it seems, is that this really is the flu.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jan. 31, 2005 10:17 PM ET USA

    The inscription on the yearbook: "It was as it is".

  • Posted by: - Jan. 31, 2005 8:44 PM ET USA

    The flu can be a very serious ailment when you are as old and as sick as the Holy Father. The lingering deaths of both my father and my mother-in-law were hastened on their way by influenza just weeks before each of their respective deaths. Take that with the salt that it deserves: other encounters with respiratory ailments had been successfully fought until the last one "got 'em"

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jan. 31, 2005 7:40 PM ET USA

    For all the good he has surely done, and for any mistakes he may have made we will not have him too much longer... The question is not where is "he," that is the Pope... let us pray for his soul in any case as he is very responsible either positively or negatively..., but rather, where are WE... Have we truly availed ourselves of all the graces that this Holy Father has placed within our reach...? Or do we unrealistically hope for a temporal "immortality" which simply will not occur?