Pope defies medical advice to rest
Pope John Paul II read part of his prepared addresses at an audience in St Peters Square yesterday against the advice of his doctors, but he reportedly looked in better health and spoke clearly.
Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls had said the Holy Father would not read any of the morning speeches.
"On the advice of his personal doctor after the heavy commitments of the Holy Week he will not read the text of the audience," Navarro-Valls told journalists.
Aides stepped in to read the pope's text, but at the end of the speech John Paul delivered the prepared greetings to well-wishers in a number of different languages, speaking in a clear voice as he addressed a packed St Peter's Square.
The pope had seemed tired at a Monday address after carrying out a full schedule during the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, the most intense in the Church's calendar and an annual litmus test of his health.
However, he has looked markedly better in recent weeks than during celebrations to mark his 25th anniversary in office in October when aides had to read many of his addresses for him.
Pope Gives Part of Address Despite Medical Advice (Reuters 14/4/04)
Worn out after Easter week, Pope skips speech (Associated Press/AZcentral 14/4/04)
GENERAL AUDIENCE: CHRIST, TRIUMPHANT OVER EVIL AND DEATH (Vatican Information Service 14/4/04)
Doctor advises weary pope not to read speech (Channel News Asia 14/4/04)
Russia remains far off for Pope (Financial Times 13/4/04)
Fatigued Pope omits talk from weekly audience (Catholic World News 14/4/04)
Tired Pope greets pilgrims on Easter Monday (CathNews 13/4/04)
15 Apr 2004