26 years as head of Roman Catholic Church come to a close
This is not original reporting. Most information has been compiled from The Washington Post article "John Paul II Dies at 84" by Daniel Williams and Alan Cooperman. Silver Chips Online posts these news summaries to provide readers with a forum for discussion.
John Paul II, 84 years old, died last night at 9:37 Rome time when complications from Parkinson's disease and influenza took their toll.
John Paul II had Parkinson's disease for years and the onset of influenza in late February incited worsening physical stability according to the Washington Post. Last Sunday, John Paul II was unable to speak an Easter blessing. Yesterday, the pope developed a fever. John Paul received the Catholic rite Viaticum, which is given to those ill or expected to die as a last blessing, at 8 p.m. His death was announced to the public by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, who has worked in the Vatican for years. Those with John Paul while he died said it was a peaceful, quiet and seemingly painless passing.
Since being elected in October 1978, John Paul II held the third-longest papacy. The next pope will be elected by the College of Cardinals within 20 days of John Paul II's passing. According to College of Cardinals: Homepage, the collection of Cardinals who are chosen by the Holy Father to serve as his principal assistants and advisers in the central administration of church affairs form the College of Cardinals.
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