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Mixed signals on Pope recovery

The Vatican has announced that the Holy Father is still recuperating from severe respiratory problems that caused his hospitalisation earlier this month, and will need to skip his regular weekly public audience scheduled for this afternoon.

In a short statement released on Monday, the Vatican press office indicated that Pope John Paul II "will appear at the window of his private study to greet and bless the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square," rather holding the usual audience. A Wednesday audience can last for up to two hours, during which the Pope delivers a prepared talk and greets pilgrims.

Pope John Paul did appear in public on Sunday for his Angelus audience, although he did not lead the Angelus prayer himself.

Meanwhile Pope John Paul and rock star Bono are among 166 nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.

Reuters news agency says that the Holy Father, who has been nominated many times, is unlikely to win "since the five-member awards committee is widely believed to object to his conservative moral teachings, like opposing birth control".

He was widely tipped for the 2003 prize, which went to Iranian human rights and pro-democracy activist Shirin Ebadi.

At the time, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said: "The pope is a messenger of peace. If an organisation wants to recognise it, that's fine. But the pope is above these things."

Mixed signals on Pope's health recovery (Catholic World News 22/2/05)
Pope, Bono among Nobel nominees (Reuters/ABC 23/2/05)

Nobel Prize

Pope tells media to promote truth, not trash (CathNews 22/2/05)
Vatican official urges effort to reach lapsed Catholics (CathNews 4/6/04)
Pope again encourages use of Internet for evangelisation (CathNews 18/2/04)
Vatican official urges advertising that promotes human dignity (CathNews 29/10/03)
64% in US use Internet for religious reasons (CathNews 19/5/04)
Pope says truth in media serves cause of peace (CathNews 26/3/03)
Vatican communications head says many learn morality from media, not Gospel (CathNews 23/10/02)

Vatican paper slams 'nihilistc' Nobel literature choice (CathNews 20/10/04)
Pope unfazed by Nobel miss (CathNews 13/10/03)
Pope tipped for Nobel Peace Prize (CathNews 10/10/03)

Pope says good health has moral not just physical dimension (Catholic News Service 21/2/05)
Pope delivers Angelus talk, speaks of commitment to papal ministry (Catholic News Service 21/2/05)
Pope meets with Croatian president (Catholic World News 22/2/05)
Vatican marks feast of the Chair of Peter (Catholic World News 22/2/05)
The Pope's reflection at the Angelus prayer: "The Petrine ministry is essentially at the service of the unity of the Church… To Jesus the Good Shepherd I entrust to whole People of God on this Lenten journey towards Easter" (Fides 21/2/05)
Pope Appears in Good Form During Address (The Guardian/Associated Press 22/2/05)
Pope Receives Visit From Croat Leader (The Guardian/Associated Press 22/2/05)
Pope Resumes Visits With Foreign Leaders (The Guardian/Associated Press 22/2/05)
Pope: mass media boon to humanity, but pluralism is needed (Missionary Service News Agency 22/2/05)
Pope resuming regular routine, won't step down (Associated Press/Chicago Sun-Times 22/2/05)
Frail Pope slowly resumes activities (The Age/Australian Associated Press 22/2/05)
Feast of the Chair of St. Peter celebrated today (Vatican Information Service 22/2/05)
Papal Message Conveyed to Harassed Christians in Galilee (Zenit 21/2/05)

23 Feb 2005