The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 6, 1996 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, October 6, 1996
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Page 8
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A8 SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1996 INTERNATIONAL THE SALINA JOURNAL T POPE JOHN PAUL II Ailing Pope John Paul II prepares for appendectomy Pope has kept up his schedule, but ill health is now difficult to hide By DANIEL J. WAKIN The Associated Press VATICAN CITY — The pope is ailing. Just how sick he is has been the subject of many rumors and incessant speculation: Is the pope suffering from cancer or Parkinson's disease? Will he step down? The Vatican dismisses all such speculation, but comments sparingly. One thing is certain: the 76- year-old John Paul II will entrust himself to doctors today for an appendectomy at the Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital. The pope's inflamed appendix has caused bouts of fever and intestinal trouble and will be removed. Vatican sources say the operation could take place Tuesday or Wednesday. Perhaps the upcoming hospital stay was on John Paul's mind Saturday when, in an address to pilgrims, he praised the revered Capuchin monk Padre Pio for valuing "the resources of medical science and modern therapeutic technologies." An American bishop who met T BOSNIA File photo Pope John Paul II will have his Inflamed appendix removed Tuesday or Wednesday. with the pontiff Saturday morning, Monsignor Anthony Michael Pilla of Cleveland, said John Paul II looked no worse than in May. "We just wished him well and assured him of our prayers. He expressed gratitude at that," Pilla said. The pope has put on the bravado of a young lion before his hospitalization, filling his days with meetings, blessings and speeches. He was set to preside over a beatifica- tion ceremony in St. Peter's Square hours before leaving for the hospital. But the pope's ill health is becoming hard to hide. The pope has suffered bouts of fever three times since December, the first during his Christmas Day message in St. Peter's Square, which is watched by millions of people around the world. Vatican officials each time blamed an ill-defined "intestinal" ailment. But during a trip to Hungary on Sept. 7, the pope looked weak and weary. Reporters pressed papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls to explain. Though saying the pope was "basically" healthy, Navarro- Valls acknowledged the cause of the ailments was unknown. At times, John Paul appears hunched over and rigid. Occasionally his voice weakens, or he sits slumped in his chair, or he appears oblivious. Most obvious is a severe tremor in his left hand. For years now, newspapers and magazines have published rumors saying the pope suffers from Parkinson's Disease, a progressive neurological disorder. The Vatican always has rejected the reports, but sometimes words its statements to leave open the possibility of other interpretations. Serb boycotts inauguration Potential milestone for unity fizzles; Krajisnik cites security concerns By The Associated Press SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — The Serb member of Bosnia's presidency boycotted its inauguration Saturday, turning a potential milestone for unity into an unwelcome mirror of the Balkan nation's divisions. The Muslim and Croat members of the newly elected troika signed the oath of office in a brief and dispirited ceremony held after hours of waiting in vain. The Serb member said he didn't attend because of security concerns. The presidency's Muslim chairman, Alija Izetbegovic, and Croat member Kresimir Zubak expressed hopes of future unity, but the words sounded hollow. Bosnia's Muslims and Croats already are united in a federation that is slowly overcoming mutual distrust. The Serb presence was needed to demonstrate that all sides are willing to work together after SViyears of war. But ambassadors, NATO officials and other dignitaries were left waiting. As the afternoon dragged on, many drifted away, leaving the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra playing to a half-empty house. Although hundreds of NATO troops, local and international police provided security at the National Theater, Bosnian Serb member Momcilo Krajisnik said he could not compromise his personal safety by coming to downtown Sarajevo. International officials were hard-pressed to express their anger diplomatically. "This is a serious slap in the face of the entire international community," said Colum Murphy, a spokesman for top peace administrator Carl Bildt. Senior U.S. envoy John Kornblum said he was "extremely unhappy and displeased" and Carl Bildt, the top civilian mediator in Bosnia, accused the Serbs of "playing games." Zubak urged co-existence, declaring, "Our historical destiny is to live one with another, and this is possible only in conditions in which the freedoms and the rights of one are limited only by the equal rights and freedoms of the other." 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