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Church Officials: Pope's Condition 'Very Grave'

The Vatican describes Pope John Paul II's condition as "very grave" after suffering heart failure during treatment for a urinary tract infection. Church officials deny reports the pontiff is in a coma and say he is "conscious, lucid and serene." He remains at his Vatican residence.

Copyright 2005 NPR

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Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.