The archbishop of Baltimore said he admired the Pope for having stayed for all of the ceremonies in their entirety last week, given his frail health, and for carrying out his service “with great simplicity and perseverance.”
William Cardinal Keeler of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, returned to his diocese yesterday after eight days in Rome to celebrate the Pope’s 25th anniversary, the beatification of Mother Teresa and the elevation of 30 bishops to cardinals.
Keeler described the last week as a moment of thanks for John Paul II’s pontificate and celebration for the cardinals,
The cardinal said he met with the Pope "quietly, but not privately" on two occasions during his eight days there and told the Pope of Baltimore’s love and affection for him. He also thanked the pontiff for praying for a local priest who is ill.
However, the archbishop said he thinks the Pope is experiencing some “personal agony” because he is an intelligent man who is no longer able to express himself as he once was.
The pope has no other trips or major events planned before Christmas. Though he is unable to walk or stand, according to a spokesman, he might still travel next year to Austria, Switzerland, France and his homeland, Poland.