CATHOLICS worldwide were alarmed over the news that Pope John Paul II will step down after his pilgrimage to Poland this August.

Tyden, a Czech newspaper, reported last June 4 the untimely resignation of the Pope. The paper claimed that it had reliable sources, including several Polish clergymen who are friends of the Holy Father, who confirmed the report.

However, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls denied the report. He said that the Pope was even willing to attend additional activities scheduled for the rest of this years until 2003, which include bookings and international visits.

“We have heard nothing about this resignation and we are not spending any time worrying about it,” Bishop Kazimierz Nycz, a Krakow auxillary, said.

In addition, some Church leaders are confident that the Pope will continue to fulfill his papal duties despite his health problems. Anna Rachelle S. Ariola with reports from the Catholic World News

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