However, this article says that the Vatican-based satellite TV station declared that Pokemon trading cards and the computer game is “full of inventive imagination,” has no “harmful moral side effects” and is based on the notion of “intense friendship.”
First of all, the TV station mentioned was actually run by the Italian Bishops' Conference at the time.
Second, the article clearly states the fact that spokesmen for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops both said they did not receive any information that the Vatican officially endorsed the game.
Unless someone can come up with evidence that Pope John Paul II personally blessed this game, then the assertion that JPII approved of it should be relegated to the "just another Internet rumor" category.
Send your New Age questions to firstname.lastname@example.org