CAIRO: A number of priests who visited the Pope yesterday said he was “in high spirits and good condition. He even told a few jokes, church sources told Daily News Egypt.
The pope had canceled his weekly Wednesday lecture at Cairo’s St. Mark’s cathedral and was rushed to the El Salam hospital in Mohandiseen.
”There were big worries among Christians who came to attend his lecture,” Bishop Moussa said. ”Thanks to God, the pope is in a very good state now,” he added. ”It’s the first time that he has spent a night at a hospital in Cairo.
Pope Shenouda III, the ailing head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, was set to leave the hospital Friday, said church officials, after two days in intensive care that raised fears over his deteriorating health.
The 84-year-old Pope was in a good state after his successful trip to the US – his second in a year – where he received a check up on his kidneys at the Cleveland Clinic, said the sources.
He returned last Wednesday and conducted a meeting with members of the Holy Synod, but exhaustion from the lengthy trip resulted in blood circulation problems that eventually led to chronic cholecystitis, or stones in his gall bladder, that caused a high fever and severe pain.
He is also known to have back problems and last year made several US trips for back surgery
The Benevolence Meeting, a weekly gathering between the Pope and group of women dedicated to allocating resources for the poor, was also postponed from Thursday to Saturday. At press time, the gathering was still scheduled to go ahead on Nov. 10.
Friday’s local papers were filled with the news that the pope had lost consciousness, perhaps even fallen into a coma, but both Moussa and a hospital doctor denied the reports. Rumors of heart problems were also refuted by church sources. Additional reporting by the Associated Press.