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Vatican says Pope critical but "calm and conscious"

.- The Vatican's spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Pope experienced serious heart problems yesterday but that he is "conscious, lucid and extraordinarily calm."

An emotional Navarro-Valls said the Pope experienced septic shock, his "blood pressure is unstable" and he has "respiratory difficulties," although he remains "lucid, conscious and calm," "extraordinarily calm," he emphasized.

On Thursday the Pope showed signs of a urinary tract infection and developed a high fever.

All "necessary therapeutic and cardio-respiratory measures" were activated at the Apostolic Palace, he said.

Late Thursday doctors were able to stabilize the Pope but he remained in critical condition.

At 7:17 pm yesterday, Rome time, the Pope received the Anointing of the Sick, although today at 6:00am he celebrated Mass "calmly from his bed."

"The Pope, as you know, is being treated by his personal doctor, Renato Buzzonetti,  two intensive care doctors, a cardiologist, an ear, nose and throat specialist and two nurses," Navarro-Valls explained.

This morning John Paul received several top aides, including Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano; undersecretary of state Archbishop Leonardo Sandri; the pope's vicar for Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini; Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; the Vatican foreign minister, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo; American Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the governor of Vatican City; and Archbishop Paolo Sardi, the Vatican vice chamberlain.

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