German Catholics pray for ailing Pope
1 April 2005, COLOGNE - Some 500 persons attended special noontime prayers for Pope John Paull II in Cologne's imposing cathedral on Friday amid prayers offered by people around Germany.
1 April 2005
COLOGNE - Some 500 persons attended special noontime prayers for Pope John Paull II in Cologne's imposing cathedral on Friday amid prayers offered by people around Germany.
"Whereas usually 200 to 250 faithful attend the noon prayers in the cathedral, today it was more than double that amount," said Manfred Becker-Huberti, a spokesman for the archbishop.
In the event of the pope's death, he said the so-called "Peter's Bell" of the Cologne Cathedral would toll for half an hour.
In Trier, Bishop Reinhard Marx led the prayers and asked followers to show their solidarity with the 84-year-old pontiff.
The head of the German Bishops Office in Berlin, Prelate Karl Juesten, told television that the pope is intentionally showing the public his suffering as a way of offering consolation.
"From what I know of him, and when you see the pictures, this appears to be his own will. I do not believe that those around him are in some way influencing him," he said.
John Paul had started out as a "youthful, shining Pope. We have seen what this person has gone through, what he has suffered" and how is is now nearing death, Juesten said.
"Here we are experiencing the death of a person who obviously means something to many people. Many people who themselves are suffering are saying, there is one who is walking down this path along with me," he said. This provides consolation, Juesten added.
Subject: German news