Castelgandolfo, Sep.

Castelgandolfo, Sep. 24 ( – Pope John Paul II cancelled his scheduled appearance at a regular weekly public audience today because of what Vatican officials described as an “intestinal indisposition.” Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls assured reporters that the Pope’s latest illness was “not a serious problem.”

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, greeted the 15,000 people who had assembled in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, September 24, expecting to see the Holy Father. Just 30 minutes before the scheduled audience, the crowd was informed that the Pontiff had been “forced to stay at Castelgandolfo.” Cardinal Sodano read the address which Pope John Paul had prepared for the audience, and asked the faithful to join in prayers for the Pontiff.