Pope to visit Latin America despite ill health


Pope John Paul II is to go ahead with a tour of Latin America and Canada in the coming months despite concerns over his poor health.

"The pontiff has personally approved the schedule which is now set. No-one has told the organisers that these visits could be cancelled," a Vatican spokesman said today.

The Pope is due to visit Canada in late July before travelling to Mexico and Guatemala.

Speculation the trip could be cancelled rose yesterday when a spokesman suggested that although the Canada trip was confirmed, the Latin American visit could be cancelled.

The spokesman later said there was no change to the planned travel schedule.