.- The President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, said this week “the word retirement is not part of the Holy Father’s vocabulary” and that therefore he would continue to lead the Church as long as God wills it. Speaking to the Italian daily “La Repubblica,” the Mexican cardinal said the Pope “will continue ahead as long as God wills it, as he reiterated with the Totus tuus (Totally Yours), which leaves no doubt.”
According to the cardinal, John Paul II will continue leading the Church “because he possesses an incredible strength, a will that it is out of the ordinary and extraordinary lucidity.”
“Beyond his illnesses and his health problems, the Holy Father has the spirit of a twenty year-old man,” he added.
Regarding the possibility of having a silent Pope, Cardinal Lozano said that “even without speaking, the Pope will lead the Church.” It’s not a problem “because there are so many ways to communicate and he can write as he is doing now at this time,” the cardinal noted.
Cardinal Lozano also revealed that he was surprised at the Pope’s positive reaction to his latest health problems and that news coming out of Rome is optimistic. “To see how he is reacting makes us think optimistically about his future and that of the Church,” he noted.
At the same time, the cardinal said it would not be prudent to “let him leave the hospital too quickly.” “During this stage of illness, they must be more prudent and in less of a hurry,” he said, referring to the Pope’s previous hospitalization from February 1-11.