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Church Officials: Pope's Condition 'Very Grave'

The Vatican describes Pope John Paul II's condition as "very grave" after suffering heart failure during treatment for a urinary tract infection. Church officials deny reports the pontiff is in a coma and say he is "conscious, lucid and serene." He remains at his Vatican residence.

Copyright 2005 NPR

Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's International Desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe, and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and how immigration has transformed European societies.