The Pope has hospital tests

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The Independent Online
ROME (AP) - The Pope startled the crowd in St Peter's Square yesterday by revealing that he was entering a hospital later in the day. His spokesman added later that the Pope had an intestinal problem that might need surgery.

Making his regular Sunday noon appearance from a window of his private study overlooking the square, the Pope recited the Angelus prayer, made a plea for an end to the bloodshed in the former Yugoslavia, then took pilgrims and tourists into his confidence.

'This evening I'm going to Gemelli Clinic for some diagnostic tests,' he said. 'I ask your prayers so that the Lord is near to me with his help and with his support.' He said he was entrusting himself to the care of the Virgin Mary. His spokesman, Joaquin Navarro, described the problem as an 'intestinal dysfunction'.

Scores of people waited outside the hospital, hoping for a glimpse of the 72-year-old Pope. The modern complex is about two miles north of the Vatican. The Pope was taken to the same church-run hospital for surgery on 13 May 1981 after being shot in the abdomen during a public audience in St Peter's Square.

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