Chakra Discussions

Praying for Pope John Paul II

by Ananda das

Posted February 24, 2005

As reported by Daniel Williams in the Washington Post, Pope John Paul II has had to undergo immediate surgery to relieve extreme breathing difficulties related to advanced Parkinson's disease complicated by influenza.

"The flu symptoms, which this morning caused the Holy Father to be hospitalized at the Policlinico Gemelli, in recent days have been complicated by renewed episodes of acute breathing insufficiency," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, a Vatican spokesman. He required an emergency tracheotomy "to ensure adequate ventilation" and to deal with a constriction of the larynx that was making breathing extremely difficult.

According to Corrado Manni, retired head of the hospital's emergency ward, there were "no alternatives" to the insertion of a breathing tube in the windpipe. although the operation increased the risks of heart failure and pneumonia. Manni headed the emergency ward in 1981 when the pope was hospitalized after an assassination attempt.

"Pneumonia is a mode of exit for many older people," said Martin J. Blaser, president-elect of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. That the pope was recently treated for pneumonia increases the likelihood that his flu was caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, he said. The Feb. 24 hospitalization was the pope's tenth in the last 26 years.

I am sure that I join with many, many ISKCON members and other Vaishnavas worldwide in praying for the pope's recovery from the current debilitating respiratory episode and in offering our best wishes for His Holiness and for the worldwide Catholic community through this crisis and beyond.