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Pope recovering from bad knee

A healthier-looking Pope John Paul held two public engagements on Saturday, showing he is apparently recovering from a painful arthritic knee that has forced him to cancel part of his schedule.

The 81-year-old Pope received Ayatollah Mehdi Karrubi, president of the Iranian parliament, and immediately afterwards held an audience for more than 1000 of his Polish countrymen.

The Pope held talks with Karrubi for about 15 minutes and then received the rest of the Iranian delegation while standing behind his desk.

Afterwards he addressed the Polish visitors in the Vatican's large auditorium. He walked some six metres to his chair using his cane but was helped by his secretary.

He seemed to be in good spirits and condition at both appearances and addressed his countrymen in a firm voice.

Last Wednesday, the Pope did not did not attend his weekly general audience because intense pain in his right knee had made it very difficult for him to walk.



12 Mar 2002