.- A top Italian cardinal said he is certain Pope John Paul II has the capacity to continue to work and to make decisions even after the 10 days he recently spent in hospital for the flu and breathing difficulties, reported the Italian daily La Repubblica.
"The pope is well, the flu has completely passed and I think that in a few days he will really begin work again," Cardinal Camillo Ruini told the newspaper. "I am very optimistic. I am in fact sure that ... he will continue to have the real capacity to work ... not only in his speeches but in the decisions that are taken."
In the report, published Feb. 12, the pontiff's vicar for Rome confirmed that the Pope still has intentions of traveling to Cologne, Germany, in August for World Youth Day.
While the recent illness has once again left many wondering how the 84-year-old pontiff would continue in his papacy, Pope John Paul II has repeatedly said he intends to carry out his mission until the end of his life.
On Saturday, the Pope sent a message of solidarity to a gathering in Cameroon to mark World Day of the Sick, praising health workers.
"My thoughts, in a special way, go to you, sick brothers and sisters, who carry on the body the signs of pain and fragility," he said.