The Holy Father’s struggles

The Holy Father’s struggles

A CBS News reporter gives his reflections on the Pope’s visit to Lourdes. It’s an interesting secular viewpoint and his observations are fairly accurate. The Holy Father is moving forward almost by a sheer force of will.

When he does speak, it is very, very difficult to understand what he is saying. French television had to use subtitles for his homily at the great open air mass, even though the pope was speaking in French. He gasps for air as he speaks. He pauses to gather the strength to pronounce the next few words. He drools like a baby. Careful television editing spares viewers the worst of this.

It’s important to understand that this is indicative of a downturn in his health, but not necessarily a terminal change. Last year, when he visited Slovakia, he was almost as bad physically. He looked so bad, in fact, that everyone was predicting his imminent demise. But then he had a near-miraculous recovery. He was able to speak clearly again, to read his own speeches and homilies, and even to go on holiday. This was attributed to a new treatment for his Parkinson’s.

So why so bad at Lourdes? Maybe the treatment has some side effects he wanted to avoid in Lourdes. Maybe the treatment is no longer effective. In any case, he cannot go on forever. No one can. It is amazing how he soldiers on despite his burdens, providing an effective witness against those who talk about “quality of life” and “death with dignity.” By his own life, he proves the death-mongers wrong.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli