Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico City, cautioned the faithful against believing reports in tabloid publications on John Paul II’s health, saying the Pope continues to work for the Church.
“Are you not aware that Pope Juan Paul is ill? Everyone knows that. He has been ill for many years. Did you know that the Holy Father will die someday? He will die just like all of us,” the Cardinal said while celebrating Mass in the Archdiocese’s Cathedral.
“Even though he is ill, the Holy Father continues to work. Yesterday he met with the leader of the Anglican Church. Today he canonized these new saints. Tomorrow he will have his audiences. This week he will travel to Pompey, Lord willing. The Holy Father continues to work, he continues to guide our Church. Therefore there’s no place for worry, for anxiety and especially for tabloid sensationalism,” the Cardinal said.
He asked the faithful to continue “praying for the Holy Father so that he will complete the mission the Lord has entrusted to him. We are filled with joy at today’s celebration: the canonization of these new saints.”
Speaking to the media at the end of Mass, the Cardinal said “the most important and the only message that will fill the Pope with joy is that we love him, we love him here in Mexico and we have prayed for his health and we have prayed that he will continue in the mission God has given him.”
“We know the Pope has been ill for years. But instead of staying in bed, instead of worrying for himself, he continues to offer his live in service to the Gospel, he continues working every day,” the Cardinal said.
He also explained “that’s how we see it, and you yourselves can consult with your Vatican sources—everyday the Pope continues in his activities and he will do so as long as God grants him life and health.”
Cardinal Rivera lamented that “recently the media reported the Pope was near death, that his life was ending, that he was not leading the Church, and that is not true.”
“As I said, the Pope has been ill for many years. And yet he continues to work despite his illness, he continues in the mission God has given him. So to be making predictions about the future is a little out of place,” he warned.