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Octavio Atwood Marissa.Whitney at EXECPC.COM
Wed Mar 2 21:51:44 UTC 2005

The 84-year-old pontiff was resting in a Rome hospital after doctors performed a successful operation to help the ailing pontiff breathe.

"The situation is normal after surgery," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters. "He's breathing on his own and cardiovascular conditions remain good."

Italian news agencies had reported that John Paul was placed on a respirator after the surgery, but Navarro-Valls said the pope "had no need of assisted breathing."

"Assisted means mechanical, which wasn't used yesterday, nor last night, nor this morning. There was no need," he said.

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