Published - In: EL MUNDO, a Spanish daily

On: Friday, October 7, 1994

Translation by: The M+G+R Foundation

Please Note: We have chosen to translate the phrase "estado de ánimo" by combining "mental state" with "mood". The sum of those two adjectives are as close as we can come to an accurate translation of  "estado de ánimo". This phrase can losely be translated to "spirits" and may be applicable when dealing with a less serious issue than the one at hand.

"The Pope is not well psychologically" - One of John Paul II's physicians concerned about his "mental state" / "mood".

LONDON - One of John Paul II's physicians, Corrado Manni, has made publicly known his concern about the "mental state" / "mood" of the Pontiff, but he denied that he suffers form Parkinson or cancer.

Manni, director of anesthesia and Intensive Care of the Roman clinic Agostino Gemelli, stated during an interview with the weekly magazine The European that he does not consider that John Paul II should retire, but that he should reduce his activities.

In its opinion, the attempt to murder the Pope in 1981, when they shot him in the Piazza de San Pedro, had a deep effect in Karol Wojtyla, now 74 years old. "If you are a man who loves peace and see that someone wishes to kill you, the effect of such attempt reaches very deep in the mind, although it is not perceived immediately", said the doctor to the weekly magazine, which entitles the article "The suffering of the Pope, by his doctor".

"He is neither crazy nor senile, but, in my opinion, he is not well psychologically. I would not suggest for him to retire. In my opinion, the Pope would have to work a little less" he added.

Manni thinks that the moment the Pope was ready to travel to Sarajevo he demonstrated that was not well psychologically. "No normal man in his position had chosen to go then to Sarajevo. He was obsessed, and behind this obsession there were psychological reasons, not physical reasons ", he emphasized.

"Psychologically, it is very important for him that he is seen as Pope of all (the world). He is also a man with a mission and, like an older man, martyrdom thoughts may have entered his consciousness ", added the doctor.

Manni thinks that all the operations which the Pope was undergone since the attempt to murder him in 1981 have caused that John Paul II to have a feeling of frustration. Manni is anesthesia director and has taken part in all the operations which the Pope has undergone in the last 13 years.

Karol Wojtyla Pontificate has lasted 16 years and, since July of 1992, the preoccupation began because of the state of health, after the operation to extract a benign tumor from his intestine. In the last few months rumors have circulated that John Paul II suffers cancer or has badly of Parkinson.

The Pope received on Wednesday twelve bishops of Hispanic language, amongst which was the archbishop of Zaragoza and president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, monsignor Elías Yanes.

Yanes emphasized the good state of health that he noticed in the Pope and the atmosphere of brotherhood that reigned in the encounter.


Original Publication in Spanish