Vatican releases statement on health of Pope

Saturday, April 2, 2005 At 9.30 am today the Vatican released a statement to give the latest news of the health of the Pope.

In the statement, the condition of the Pope at 7am UTC this morning was described as being "substantially unchanged and therefore very serious". At dawn, he was said to have entered a "compromised state of consciousness".

Last night, the Pope was heard to say several times 'I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you.' The statement was an apparent reference to all the young people he met during his pontificate.

Although the Pope is reported to have spoken, many people are unconvinced, following his inability to speak during Easter mass.

In a press conference held this morning, the official Papal spokesperson, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, is reported by BBC News as saying "Sometimes it seems as if he were resting with his eyes closed, but when you speak to him, he opens his eyes."