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Pope is not an organ donor

CWN - February 03, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI is not registered as an organ donor, the Vatican has disclosed.

Msgr. Georg Gänswein, the Pope’s private secretary, has confirmed that the Holy Father is not enrolled in any organ-donation program, “contrary to some public claims.” It is true that in the past, then-Cardinal Ratzinger carried an organ-donor card, confirming his registration in a donor program in his native Germany. However that document, dating from the 1970s, lost its legal force when Cardinal Ratzinger became the Roman Pontiff.

References to the Pope’s alleged status as an organ donor have appeared regularly in material encouraging others to enlist as donors. The announcement that the Pope is not currently enrolled as a donor, reported by the German-language edition of Vatican Radio, appears to be designed to avoid giving the impression that donor programs have a implicit papal endorsement.

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