Skip to main content


Papal Consistory

Find Great Collectibles

More on Pope

I. DEFINITION

During the Roman imperial epoch the term consistorium (Lat. con-sistere, to stand together) was used to designate the sacred council of the emperors. In time it came to designate the senate of the Roman pontiff, that is, "the assemblage of the Cardinals in council around the Pope" (Innocent III to the Bishop of Ely and the Archdeacon of Norwich, in 1212; see Gonzalez, "Commentaria in textus decretalium Gregorii IX", III, vii, 108).

II. ORIGIN AND HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

The origin of the papal consistory is closely connected with the history of the Roman presbytery or body of the Roman clergy. In the old Roman presbyterium there were deacons, in charge of the ecclesiastical temporalities in the various regions of Rome; priests, at the head of the principal churches of the city, called tituli; and (at least by the eighth century) the bishops of the dioceses in the neighborhood of Rome. The cardinals of today (divided likewise into the three orders of bishops, priests, and deacons) have succeeded the members of the ancient presbytery not only in the offices attaching to these three grades, though with somewhat different functions, but also, and chiefly, in the capacity of assisting the pope in the management of ecclesiastical affairs.

From the earliest Christian times the popes were wont to confer with the Roman presbytery on matters affecting the interests of the Church. From a letter of Pope Cornelius (254-255) to St. Cyprian we learn that he had summoned his presbytery before agreeing to the reconciliation of three schismatics. Likewise, Pope Liberius (352-363) informed the Roman clergy about the course of action he had deemed advisable to take during his exile. Pope Siricius (384-398) condemned the heresy of Jovinian after having convoked his presbytery. How far the more prominent members of the Roman clergy, eventually called cardinals, were being gradually entrusted with the management of ecclesiastical affairs is shown by the action of Leo IV and John VIII in the ninth century. The former ordered that the Roman cardinals should meet twice a week in the Sacred Palace to provide for the administration of the churches, look after the discipline of the clergy, and decide the cases of laymen. The latter ordered them to meet at least twice a month in order to take cognizance of and decide cases of clerics and laymen brought before the pope's tribunal. For many centuries, however, the Roman presbytery did not form the senate of the popes to the exclusion of all other clerics, at least in matters of greater importance. These matters were discussed and decided in the Roman council, which, though admitting the Roman clergy to an active part, consisted chiefly of bishops summoned by the pope from the greater part of Italy, as well as of other bishops who happened to be in Rome at the time. These councils were very frequent until the beginning of the twelfth century. Thenceforth, the popes held them more rarely finding it difficult to convoke them as often as the ever increasing volume of business demanded. In their stead the popes transacted the affairs brought before their court in the presence and with the assistance of the Roman cardinals, who about the same time had grown in dignity and importance, owing to the fact that the right o electing the pope now rested in them exclusively. Thus the Sacred College of Cardinals, assembled in consistory, became the chief organ of the supreme and universal government of the Church.

At first, matters of judicial as well as of administrative character were referred to the consistory. In course of time, however, the former were transferred to the Tribunal of the Sacred Rota. The "Corpus Juris" contains many of the decisions given by the popes in consistory, as is evidenced by the frequent formula de fratrun nostrorum consilio (with the advice of our brethren). The papal consistory has continued ever since to act as the supreme council of the popes, though it lost much of its importance when in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Roman Congregations were instituted. The amount of business brought before the Holy See had gradually increased to such a vast extent that it had to be divided among several particular committees of cardinals. These committees were at first temporary but gradually became permanent, and to each of them a definite kind of ecclesiastical affairs was assigned. These permanent committees came to be known as congregations. The first of them was instituted by Paul III, others by Pius IV and Pius V, but most of them owe their origin to Sixtus V. Once the Roman Congregations, embracing in their scope almost the whole range of ecclesiastical affairs, were instituted, it was but natural that the papal consistory should lose in importance. However, it did not go into desuetude altogether; it continued to be held, but more rarely, and only in the form which me proceed to describe.

III. PRESENT PRACTICE

Consistories are of three kinds: secret or ordinary, public or extraordinary and semi-public.

(1) The secret consistory is so called because no one save the pope and the cardinals is present at its deliberations. Formerly it was customary for the pope, soon after entering the hall of consistory, to confer singly with the cardinals on such personal matters as they wished to bring before him, and it was only after this audience was over that nobles and prelates were excluded from the hall. But at the present day this audience is omitted. The consistory is frequently opened with an address, or allocution, in which the pope often reviews the condition of the Church in general or in some particular country, pointing out what deserves praise or needs to be condemned. Such allocutions are afterwards given to the public in order that the world at large may know the mind of the pope on these matters. At the end of the allocution the creation of new cardinals takes place. The pope announces the names of those whom he intends to raise to the cardinalate, and asks the cardinals for their opinion; the cardinals remove their caps as a sign of consent, and the pope proceeds immediately to the formal appointment. It is also in the secret consistory that the cardinals receive from the pope the cardinal's ring, are appointed to some titular church or deaconry, exercise the option of passing from one titular church to another, and of ascending from the order of deacons and priests to the order of priests and bishops respectively. It is also here that the pope appoints the camerlengo and the Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church, and performs the ceremony of "closing" and "opening" the mouth of the new cardinals. To this consistory belong also the appointments of bishops, archbishops, and patriarchs, the transfers of these dignitaries from one see to another, the appointments of coadjutors, the creation and announcement of new dioceses, the division and union of dioceses already existing. But the etails are not discussed in the consistory itself. All the previous consultations that are required in order that the pope may come to a prudent conclusion have taken place in a congregation called consistorial, and the pope in the consistory itself only gives his decision. There are some sees whose bishops are appointed through a Brief outside the consistory. Such are those in territories depending on the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, and others as necessity may require. These appointments are merely promulgated in the secret consistory. At the end of the consistory the advocates called consistorial are admitted to request, with the usual formalities, the pallium for newly appointed archbishops; their petition is granted immediately, but the conferring of the pallium takes place later.

(2) The public consistory is so called because persons foreign to the Sacred College of Cardinals, such as Apostolic prothonotaries, the auditors of the Sacred Rota, and other prelates are called to it. Laymen also, who have made previous application, are permitted to be present. Formerly, in this consistory the pope used to give solemn reception to kings, princes, and ambassadors; but this is no longer the custom. In the public consistory the pope performs the ceremony of delivering the red hat to the newly created cardinals. Moreover, the consistorial advocates plead here the causes of beatification and canonization. These pleadings are of two kinds. In the first permission is asked that the ordinary process of beatification or canonization may be introduced, or continued, or brought to completion. The second has reference only to causes of canonization. For in accordance with the practice of the Holy See, even after it has been conclusively proved that the miracles required for canonization have been performed through the intercession of one declared blessed, the honours of a saint are not decreed to him, unless the question as to whether canonization should take place has been treated in three consistories: secret, public, and semi-public. In the secret consistory the pope asks the opinions of the cardinals, who express it singly by answering placet or non placet (aye or no). In the public consistory one of the consistorial advocates pleads the cause and a prelate answers in the pope's name, inviting all to pray in order that the pope may be enlightened on the subject. The final voting takes place in the semi-public consistory.

(3) The semi-public consistory is so called because, besides the cardinals, bishops also take part in it. To this consistory the bishops residing within one hundred miles of Rome are summoned, while invitations are sent to all the other bishops of Italy; moreover, titular patriarchs and archbishops and bishops who live in Rome, as well as bishops who happen to be sojourning there at the time, are likewise present. After all the Fathers have expressed their opinions on the subject, the pope closes the assembly with an address on the following canonization. With regard to the time for holding the consistories, the old practice of assembling them at fixed intervals has passed out of use and today they meet, as occasion demands, at the pope's wish.

Check out the Latest News on Saint Pope John Paul II Canonization »


Life of Saint Pope John Paul II

1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
1920's Early Years
  • Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.
    Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.
    Born in Wadowice (Kraków), Poland.
    May 18, 1920
  • Baptized by the military chaplain P. Franciszek Zak.
    Baptized into Christ and His Church by a Chaplain in the Polish Army, Fr. Franciszek Zak.
    Baptized by the military chaplain P. Franciszek Zak.
    June 20, 1920
  • Attended the elementary school for boys
    Attended the elementary school for boys, and then the prep years of secondary school "Marcin Wadowita" in which during all his classes he achieved the top grades.
    Attended the elementary school for boys
    September 15, 1926
  • His mother dies.
    Death of his mother due to heart and kidney problems.
    His mother dies.
    April 13, 1929
  • First Holy Communion
    First Holy Communion
    First Holy Communion
    October 1, 1929
1930's Early Years
  • Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".
    Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".
    Admitted to the State Secondary School for boys, "Marcin Wadowita".
    June 1, 1930
  • His brother Edmund dies.
    Loss of his childhood occurs with the death of his brother to scarlet fever.
    His brother Edmund dies.
    December 5, 1932
  • Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.
    Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.
    Participates in military training exercises at Hermanice.
    September 1, 1935
  • Admitted into the Society of Mary.
    Admitted into the Society of Mary.
    Admitted into the Society of Mary.
    December 14, 1935
  • Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.
    Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.
    Receives the Sacrament of Confirmation.
    May 1, 1938
  • Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy at Jagellonian University, Kraków.
    Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy (course of Polish Philosophy) at Jagellonian University, Kraków.
    Enrolls in the Faculty of Philosophy at Jagellonian University, Kraków.
    June 22, 1938
  • He and his father move to Kraków
    Young Karol and his father move to Kraków (Via Tyniecka 10).
    He and his father move to Kraków
    August 1, 1938
  • University military training
    University military training camp at Ozomla, near Sadowa Wiszna for Polish and Ukraine students.
    University military training
    July 1, 1939
  • Second World War begins.
    Second World War begins.
    Second World War begins.
    September 1, 1939
  • Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.
    Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.
    Registers for the second year university courses in Literature and Philosophy.
    November 2, 1939
1940's Priesthood
  • His father dies.
    His father dies.
    His father dies.
    February 18, 1941
  • Escaped Gestapo round by hiding in his uncle's basement.
    Escaped Gestapo round by hiding in his uncle's basement.
    Escaped Gestapo round by hiding in his uncle's basement.
    August 6, 1944
  • The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.
    The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.
    The Russian Armed Forces free Kraków from Nazi occupation.
    January 18, 1945
  • Ordained a priest.
    Ordained a priest. As on the preceding occasions, he received Holy Orders from the hands of Archbishop Metropolitan Adam Sapieha in his private chapel.
    Ordained a priest.
    November 1, 1946
  • Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel.
    Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel.
    Celebrates his first Mass in the crypt of St. Leonard at Wavel.
    November 2, 1946
  • Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.
    Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.
    Leaves Poland to begin studies in Rome.
    November 15, 1946
  • Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków
    Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków (1942-1946). Earns a doctorate in sacred theology in the Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University with highest marks.
    Earns a master's degree in theology at the Jagellonian University in Kraków
    December 16, 1948
  • Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.
    Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.
    Recalled to Kraków to be assistant pastor at St. Florian's.
    August 5, 1949
1950's Priesthood
  • Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave
    Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave (until 1953) to complete his qualifying exams for a university position. Up until now he served as a chaplain to the university students (in St. Florian's) and for health workers.
    Archbishop Baziak puts him on leave
    September 1, 1951
  • Gives course in Catholic social ethics for Jagellonian University students
    Gives a course in Catholic social ethics for the students of fourth year theology at the Jagellonian University.
    Gives course in Catholic social ethics for Jagellonian University students
    October 1, 1953
  • Completes qualifying exams with thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".
    Completes his qualifying exams by presenting his thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".
    Completes qualifying exams with thesis on the "ethical system of Max Scheler".
    December 1, 1953
  • Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished,
    Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished, this faculty is then organized at the Seminary of Kraków where he continues his studies. Catholic University of Lublin offers him a non-tenured professorship which he accepts.
    Faculty of Theology at the Jagellonian University abolished,
    January 1, 1954
  • Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.
    Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.
    Appointed to the Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin.
    December 1, 1956
  • The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.
    The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.
    The Central Qualifying Committee approves his appointment as free docent.
    November 15, 1957
  • Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Baziak of Kraków.
    Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mons. Eugeniusz Baziak of Kraków.
    Appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Baziak of Kraków.
    July 4, 1958
  • Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wavel.
    Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wavel.
    Ordained Bishop in the Cathedral of Wavel.
    September 28, 1958
1960's Priesthood
  • After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.
    After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.
    After the death of Archbishop Baziak, named Vicar Capitular.
    July 16, 1962
  • Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.
    Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.
    Participates in the II Session of the Second Vatican Council.
    October 6, 1963
  • Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.
    Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.
    Designated Metropolitan Bishop of Kraków.
    December 30, 1963
  • Archbishop Wojtyla is made President of Apostolate of the Laity
    Episcopal Commission for the Apostolate of the Laity is established; Archbishop Wojtyla is made President.
    Archbishop Wojtyla is made President of Apostolate of the Laity
    December 29, 1966
  • Karol Wojtyla named Cardinal elect
    Paul VI announces the next Consistory. Among the names of the new Cardinals elect is that of Karol Wojtyla.
    Karol Wojtyla named Cardinal elect
    May 29, 1967
  • Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI
    Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI - titular S. Cesareo in Palatio.
    Consecrated Cardinal in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Paul VI
    June 26, 1967
  • Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.
    Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.
    Takes possession of the titular Church, S. Cesareo in Palatio, Rome.
    February 18, 1968
  • Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference
    Approval of the statutes of the Episcopal Conference; Cardinal Wojtyla is Vice-President of the Conference.
    Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference
    March 15, 1969
  • The Polish Theological Society publishes "The Acting Person"
    The Polish Theological Society (PTT) of Krakow publishes "The Acting Person" (Osoba i cyzn).
    The Polish Theological Society publishes "The Acting Person"
    December 1, 1969
1970's Priesthood / Pope
  • Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
    Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
    Is elected to the Council of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.
    October 5, 1971
  • Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation
    Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation at the international conference in Rome for the preparations of the new Apostolic Constitution for Ecclesiastical Studies.
    Card. Wojtyla presides over the Polish delegation
    November 22, 1976
  • Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University
    Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University, Mainz.
    Receives a doctorate "honoris causa" from Johannes Guttenberg University
    June 23, 1977
  • Present at the funeral of Paul VI.
    Present at the funeral of Paul VI.
    Present at the funeral of Paul VI.
    August 11, 1978
  • John Paul I is elected Pope
    John Paul I (Albino Luciani) is elected Pope.
    John Paul I is elected Pope
    August 26, 1978
  • Funeral of Pope John Paul I
    Leaves for the funeral of Pope John Paul I.
    Funeral of Pope John Paul I
    October 3, 1978
  • Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m
    Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m. He is the 263rd Successor of Peter.
    Cardinal Karol Wojtyla is elected 264th Pope at approximately 5:15 p.m
    October 16, 1978
  • Takes first trip abroad
    Takes first trip abroad, to Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Bahamas.
    Takes first trip abroad
    January 25, 1979
  • Pope says Mass at the site of the Birkenau concentration camp, Auschwitz
    The pope says Mass at the site of the Birkenau concentration camp, the largest of 36 camps in a complex known collectively as Auschwitz.
    Pope says Mass at the site of the Birkenau concentration camp, Auschwitz
    June 7, 1979
  • John Paul II visits the United States for the first time as pope.
    John Paul II visits the United States for the first time as pope and addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
    John Paul II visits the United States for the first time as pope.
    September 29, 1979
1980's Pope
  • Pope is shot in the abdomen by a young Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca.
    Pope John Paul II is shot in the abdomen and hand in St. Peter's Square and seriously wounded. Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turk, is arrested. The pope spends 22 days in a hospital.
    Pope is shot in the abdomen by a young Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca.
    May 13, 1981
  • Spanish priest lunges at the pope with a bayonet in Fatima, Portugal
    A Spanish priest lunges at the pope with a bayonet during the first day of a papal trip to Fatima, Portugal. John Paul is unhurt.
    Spanish priest lunges at the pope with a bayonet in Fatima, Portugal
    May 12, 1982
  • Calls for the heads of government to end to the arms race
    Calls for the heads of government of the United States and the Soviet Union to negotiate an end to the arms race.
    Calls for the heads of government to end to the arms race
    September 29, 1983
  • Meets with and forgives his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca
    The pope meets with and forgives his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, in prison in Rome.
    Meets with and forgives his would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca
    December 27, 1983
  • The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
    The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
    The United States and the Vatican establish full diplomatic relations.
    January 10, 1984
  • Historic visit to Rome's main synagogue
    John Paul II prays at Rome's main synagogue, the first ever recorded visit of a pope to a synagogue.
    Historic visit to Rome's main synagogue
    April 13, 1986
  • Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
    June 6, 1987
  • Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
    Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
    Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush.
    May 27, 1989
  • Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican
    Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican in the first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief.
    Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican
    December 1, 1989
1990's Pope
  • Issues first encyclical on social issues.
    Issues first encyclical on social issues since the fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning rich against taking advantage of poor.
    Issues first encyclical on social issues.
    May 1, 1991
  • Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican.
    Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican.

    Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican.
    December 30, 1993
  • John Paul II reaffirms the church's opposition to female priests
    John Paul II reaffirms the church's opposition to female priests in a letter to bishops, writing that the church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church's faithful."
    John Paul II reaffirms the church's opposition to female priests
    May 30, 1994
  • Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
    Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
    Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.
    October 20, 1994
  • Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death"
    Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death," including abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human embryos. The statement comes in the 11th encyclical -- a special letter reserved for matters of extreme importance to the church -- of John Paul's papacy.
    Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death"
    March 25, 1995
  • Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro.
    November 19, 1996
  • Vatican issues We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, or Holocaust
    Vatican issues We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, or Holocaust, expressing remorse for the cowardice of some Christians during World War II but defending the actions of wartime Pope Pius XII.
    Vatican issues We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, or Holocaust
    March 16, 1998
  • Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission
    Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission "until the end."
    Celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission
    October 18, 1998
  • Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
    March 1, 1999
2000's Pope
  • Mehmet Ali Agca is granted clemency & extradited to Turkey
    Mehmet Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate John Paul II in 1981, is granted clemency by Italian President Carlo Ciampi, and extradited to his native Turkey.
    Mehmet Ali Agca is granted clemency & extradited to Turkey
    June 13, 2000
  • Receives U.S. President George W. Bush.
    Receives U.S. President George W. Bush.
    Receives U.S. President George W. Bush.
    May 28, 2002
  • A top Vatican official confirms pope has Parkinson's disease.
    A top Vatican official publicly acknowledges for the first time what observers have suspected for a decade -- that John Paul II suffers from Parkinson's disease. The pope had long showed signs of Parkingson's, including slurred speech and trembling.
    A top Vatican official confirms pope has Parkinson's disease.
    May 17, 2003
  • U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom.
    U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom.
    U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom.
    June 4, 2004
  • The pope breathes heavily and gasps during an open-air Mass in Lourdes, France
    The pope breathes heavily and gasps during an open-air Mass in Lourdes, France, during one of just two foreign trips during the year.
    The pope breathes heavily and gasps during an open-air Mass in Lourdes, France
    August 15, 2004
  • Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing.
    Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing.
    Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing.
    February 1, 2005
  • Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu; undergoes a tracheotomy
    Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu; undergoes a tracheotomy to ease his breathing.
    Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu; undergoes a tracheotomy
    February 24, 2005
  • Vatican announces John Paul II has a high fever as a result of urinary tract infection
    The Vatican announces that John Paul II has a high fever as a result of a urinary tract infection. He later suffers septic shock, meaning that bacteria had spread from his urinary tract to his blood, poisoning his blood stream and causing his blood vessels to collapse. The pope receives the sacrament for the sick and dying, formerly known as the last rites.
    Vatican announces John Paul II has a high fever as a result of urinary tract infection
    March 31, 2005
  • Pope John Paul II dies at 84.
    Pope John Paul II dies at 9:37 p.m. of septic shock and cardio-circulatory collapse. He was 84.
    Pope John Paul II dies at 84.
    April 2, 2005