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Pope gives blessing to group working for Parkinson's disease sufferers

Updated:
VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II, who suffers from the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, has given his blessing to an Italian group helping those who have the disease.

The Vatican said Saturday that the pope sent a telegram to the head of Azione Parkinson _ or Parkinson's Action _ complimenting the group on its work. The pope expressed the wish that such efforts will ``contribute to increased commitment in favor of the promotion of the dignity of the human person.''

The telegram ended with assurances of the pope's blessing for volunteers and organizers of the group.

John Paul has a chronic hand tremor and often is troubled by slurred speech and difficulty in walking, all common symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but the Vatican has never confirmed that the pope suffers from the disease.
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