Text of Vatican statement on Pope's Condition (about 4:30 CST Friday)

Vatican City - The text of the press conference on Friday by chief Vatican spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls on Pope John Paul II's condition(does not include Q&A). The press conference was in Italian.

"This morning the condition of the Holy Father, as has already been said, was very serious.

"Yesterday afternoon, March 31, following a urinary tract infection, he had a septic shock with cardiovascular collapse.

"All the appropriate therapeutic measures and cardio-respiratory assistance needed in the case were immediately activated.

"The Holy Father was informed from the first moment about the gravity of his situation and in that moment he decided to remain in his apartment at the Vatican where, however, a complete and efficient sanitary assistance is guaranteed.

"In late afternoon yesterday, there was a temporary stabilization of the clinical situation, which, however, evolved negatively in the following hours.

"The Holy Father's situation is attentively monitored and watched.

"The Holy Father is conscious. Yesterday at 7:17 p.m. (1717GMT) he received Santo Viatico (the sacrament of the sick and dying). At 6 a.m. today (0400GMT) the Holy Father concelebrated Mass, naturally from his bed.

"The Pope, as you know, is attended to by his personal doctor, Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, by two intensive care doctors, a cardiologist, an ear, nose and throat specialist, as well as two nurses."

"Now, the update for this morning. The pope is still conscious. This morning, as was just said, the Holy Father concelebrated Mass. At 7:15 a.m. (0415 GMT), I was there, as he remembered it is Friday - a day when he's always, at least since he was a priest - followed the Way of the Cross, he asked that somebody read to him the 14 stages of the Way of the Cross.

"He's followed attentively the reading of the texts and I saw that he was making the sign of the cross for each of these, during the reading of these texts. Shortly after finishing his Way of the Cross, he said he wanted to do the liturgies of the hour and he concretely asked to do the Third Hour.

"I've seen that this morning he received some of his aides in his bedroom. I've seen Secretary of State Cardinal (Angelo) Sodano, Undersecretary of State Archbishop (Leonardo) Sandri, Cardinal (Camillo) Ruini, Cardinal (Edmund) Szoka, Cardinal (Joseph) Ratzinger, then his excellence Archbishop (Giovanni) Lajolo, his excellence (Archbishop Paolo) Sardi.

"They did not come together but at different times.

"The situation, as it is now, is stationary. He is still in a very serious condition, with unsettled biological parameters, blood pressure is unstable. The pope continues to be lucid, fully conscious and, I have to say, very serene. A few moments ago, before I came to you, he asked to have parts of the Holy Scriptures read and he follows these readings attentively. This is the situation at this moment.

"I can announce that the press room will naturally stay open overnight, for the whole night, but news agencies must know that if there is some information that we believe is important to communicate, they will receive it through our electronic service.

"I can imagine you have numerous questions to ask, I believe I said the essentials on the actual situation."