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 Ailing Pope Taken to Rome Hospital

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VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II was rushed to a hospital in Rome late Tuesday night after suffering a "crisis of larynx spasms," the Vatican said.

Shortly after midnight, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that because of the spasms, "it was decided to urgently hospitalize" the pope. He was taken to the hospital at 10:50 p.m.

The pope has been suffering from the flu since Sunday and apparently suffered a "breathing crisis," a Vatican official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

This is not the first time the 84-year-old pontiff has battled illness, but his health combined with his age is of constant concern to Catholics around the world.

The Vatican planned to issue a communique toward midnight Tuesday. In the meantime, cars with Vatican license plates were speeding toward to Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital where the pope had been taken, according to an AP correspondent at the scene.


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