Pope Given Last Rites

Pope John Paul II’s health is rapidly declining, according to numerous media reports, and he has been administered last rites.

Pope Developes Infection, High Fever (LAT-AP)

Pope John Paul II developed a high fever today because of a urinary tract infection and was being treated with antibiotics at the Vatican, his spokesman said. The latest health setback for the 84-year-old pontiff came one day after he began receiving nutrition through a feeding tube. “The Holy Father today was struck by a high-fever caused by a confirmed infection of the urinary tract,” spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told The Associated Press by telephone.

Vatican source: Pope given last rites (CNN)

Pope John Paul II was given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church late Thursday night as his health deteriorated, a Vatican source has told CNN.

I hope, obviously, that he will recover. Since that seems unlikely, I hope that he’ll go quickly and painlessly.

It is truly remarkable that the man has held up as well and as long as he has. He took a bullet a quarter century ago and has maintained an incredibly rigorous schedule for a man of any age, let alone one of his advanced years. While I disagree with most of his theology and much of his politics, it’s hard not to admire this man.

FILED UNDER: Health, Religion,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. caltechgirl says:

    Don’t forget the Parkinson’s. Many patients lose their battle with Parkinson’s much sooner than this.

  2. Pope’s Condition Worsens
    James Joyner notes that Pope John Paul II has been given last rites.

  3. auds says:

    Apparently all the Cardinals are being called in to St Peters – this could mean that he is a lot sicker than is currently being reported.

  4. I posted a short essay of the religious meaning of so-called “last rites,” which is an inaccurate name for the sacrament of Anointing the Sick. It’s here:

  5. The Pope’s Health
    Its seems that the Pope’s health is declining rapidly.

  6. Joyse says:

    I am a spiritualist, but when the Pope came to our city a few years ago, I could not take my eyes off him. This was televised, and I was mesmerized. I don’t know if it was a case of mass hypnosis, but whatever label, I have to say I felt safe, and kinder, and more loving. When he does pass, he will be missed. I wish all religions could create this type of experience.

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