Magazine article Newsweek

He Has Willpower-But No 'Living Will'

Magazine article Newsweek

He Has Willpower-But No 'Living Will'

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Dickey with Robert Blair Kaiser

Pope John Paul II went back to the hospital in Rome late last week for surgery to open up his breathing passage, and Dr. Rodolfo Proietti was waiting for him. Proietti led the team that treated the pontiff for flulike symptoms earlier in the month, and he had been impressed. "He is a patient with a very strong will," Proietti told NEWSWEEK in an exclusive interview at the beginning of the week. "He has a psychological ability to react to an illness that is very unusual," said the doctor.

Even as the aged pope's body shuts down in the late stages of Parkinson's disease, his will to live--and to impose his will on the Roman Catholic faithful--remains as stubborn as ever. In the days before he was readmitted to the hospital because almost no air was able to pass through his inflamed larynx, the pope insisted on making public appearances. To the assembled crowd in St. Peter's Square he reiterated that the source of his authority is Saint Peter himself, "the rock," he proclaimed, on which Jesus Christ said "I will build my church." The pope also spoke through a new book, "Memory and Identity," published last week. Though culled from tape-recorded dialogues with a pair of Polish philosophers back in 1993, the text was updated in the pope's own special, confrontational way. According to one of the philosophers, Krzysztof Michalski, the subject of abortion never came up in their conversations. They were talking mainly about the scourges of Nazism and communism in the 20th century. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.