Pope drops out of organ donor pool

In Germany the example of Joseph Ratzinger in volunteering for posthumous organ donation has been used for promotional purposes. However, the Vatican has clarified that this offer had expired when he became Pope.

As Benedict XVI, Ratzinger has praised organ donation as an "act of love," provided that removal of the organs is done with "informed consent" of the donor, and not as part of a business transaction.

Polish Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, head of the Vatican's health office, told La Repubblica newspaper that a pope's body should remain intact because it belongs to the entire church. "It is also understandable in view of possible future veneration," he said, referring to the possibility that he might be named a saint. "This doesn't take anything away from the validity and the beauty of the gift of organ donation." ~ AP, Zenit, Feb 7

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