Prayers for health: Pope John Paul II has breathing trouble

Roman Catholics in Michigan joined in prayers Wednesday for &to=http://' target=_blank>Pope John Paul II, who was rushed to the hospital with breathing trouble after contracting the flu.

Cardinal Adam Maida, archbishop of Detroit, who was at the &to=http://' target=_blank>Vatican for meetings, called on the people of his archdiocese to keep the 84-year-old pontiff in their prayers.

The Vatican said Wednesday that the pope's condition had stabilized but that he will spend several more days at the hospital to recover from the flu, wrote the Detroit Free Press.

"It is (due) to a combination of his age, his general frailty and the quite severe Parkinson's that he has," said Duncan Forsyth, a geriatrician and Parkinson's expert at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, England. "Advancing age brings with it increased risk of infection and with any illness, older people take longer to recover and the risks are greater."

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