Feature

Pope in decline

The week's news at a glance.

Rome

Pope John Paul II is in such poor health that he can no longer perform most of his duties, Time magazine reported this week. The apparent effects of Parkinson’s disease have made the pope, 83, essentially unable to walk unassisted. He also has increasing trouble speaking. On a recent visit to Slovakia, he barely got through a few sentences of his opening remarks at the airport. The pope will celebrate 25 years as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church on Oct. 16, but some Vatican officials believe he may soon be unable to make executive decisions. “On some levels,” a Rome-based priest told Time, “this has become a lame-duck papacy.”

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