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Pope's silent Easter Sunday blessing, then no show Monday

Pope John Paul II appeared at his window above St Peter's Square on Sunday, silently blessing thousands of Easter pilgrims, although he was unable to deliver his traditional urbi et orbi address.

The London Independent reports that he appeared "less haggard" than during his last public appearance on Wednesday, and made the sign of the cross. But when he tried to speak, he was unable to say a word, leading aides to remove a microphone from in front of him.

The Pope watched services from his private chapel, where a video link beamed his image on to screens erected at the Colosseum but the Vatican camera only filmed him from the side.

"The Pope is definitely going to survive the Easter holidays," a Vatican source said. "There have been too many Cardinals going on holiday away from Rome for his death to be considered imminent. The question is how long he can continue after the Easter break."

Yesterday, the Holy Father failed to appear for his usual Easter Monday blessing that marks the end of papal Holy Week celebrations.

But despite the no show, there was no immediate indication that his health has worsened.

Although the Vatican had never confirmed this year's event, expectant crowds filled St Peter's Square, chanting the Pope's name and hoping for a glimpse of him.

However, the Pope's windows remained firmly shut, and after waiting more than an hour in the huge square, many of the pilgrims reluctantly started to drift away.

It was the first time during his 26-year papacy that John Paul had failed to appear at midday (local time) on Easter Monday for the brief blessing.

Pope gives a silent blessing for Vatican's Easter pilgrims (The Independent 28/3/05)
Pope skips Easter Monday blessing (ABC News 28/3/05)

Audience cancelled, but Pope blesses crowd from window (CathNews 24/3/05)
Fresh doubts about Pope's health (CathNews 23/3/05)
Palm Sunday pilgrims retrace Jesus' trip to Jerusalem (CathNews 21/3/05)
Pope marks anniversary of Gaudium et Spes (CathNews 18/3/05)
No more updates on Pope's health crisis (CathNews 17/3/05)
Era of 'video-pope' approaches (CathNews 15/3/05)
Pope returns home from hospital (CathNews 14/3/05)
Pell says distance creates Australian uncertainty about Pope's health (CathNews 14/3/05)
Pope to come home for Holy Week (CathNews 11/3/05)
Pope a non-starter for Holy Week (CathNews 9/3/05)
Pope told to use gestures to spare voice (CathNews 8/3/05)
Pope's message to Berlusconi on hero Nicola Calipari (CathNews 7/3/05)
Pope hoping to be home for Easter (CathNews 4/3/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 4/3/05)
Pope celebrates Mass in hospital room (CathNews 2/3/05)
Chilean cardinal to announce Pope's successor (CathNews 1/3/05)
Pell backs Pope resolve to carry on (CathNews 28/2/05)
Pope set for tracheotomy procedure (CathNews 25/2/05)
Mixed signals on Pope recovery (CathNews 23/2/05)
New Pope book hits Jewish sensitivities (ICathNews 21/2/05)
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)

Urbi et Orbi: Pope gives a silent Easter blessing ( 28/3/05)
Pope's health worries faithful (Daily Telegraph 29/3/05)
Pope makes appearance at Vatican window (ABC Radio AM 28/3/05)
Pope calls on the world to recognise that the Resurrection renews everything ( 27/3/05)
Too many Catholics continue to scorn Jesus, Cardinal Ratzinger says (Catholic News Service 35/3/05)
Pope sends written greetings to Vatican Holy Thursday liturgies (Catholic News Service 24/3/05)
Pope offers silent Easter blessing, sends faithful written message (Catholic News Service 28/3/05)
Pope skips Easter Monday blessing (Catholic News Agency 28/3/05)
Pope's illness seen "directly related" to Paschal mystery (Catholic World News 25/3/05)
Frail Pope is still fully lucid and in charge (Catholic World News 25/3/05)
Fiery Good Friday homily by papal preacher (Catholic World News 25/3/05)
Silent and suffering, Pope offers Easter blessing (Catholic World News 28/3/05)
No papal appearance on Easter Monday (Catholic World News 28/3/05)
Disturbed man saved from Vatican basilica dome (Catholic World News 28/3/05)
Pope blesses Easter faithful but is unable to speak (The Guardian/Associated Press 28/3/05)
Frail Pope blesses Easter crowds (Independent Catholic News 27/3/05)
John L Allen: A talk with experts in Parkinson's disease (National Catholic Reporter 25/3/05)
John L Allen: The rumors were exaggerated (National Catholic Reporter 25/3/05)
Battling pope may appear (Agence France-Presse/ 25/3/05)
Weak Pope Unable to Speak on Easter Sunday (Reuters 27/3/05)
Pope skips post-Easter appearance (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 28/3/05)
Pope sends his spirit and abandons himself to God (Reuters/Sydney Morning Herald 26/3/05)
Pope appears via video at Good Friday procession (Sydney Morning Herald 27/3/05)
Silent Pope moves crowd to tears (Sunday Times 28/3/05)
Pope fails in attempt to speak to faithful (The Age 29/3/05)
Man dragged from St Peter's roof (The Courier Mail 27/3/05)
Pope Offers His Suffering for Sake of God's Plan (Zenit 26/3/05)
The Eucharist: "God-With-Us," Says Pontifical Household Preacher (Zenit 26/3/05)
Pope Imparts Easter Blessing in Silence (Zenit 27/3/05)
Cardinal Ratzinger Baptizes 5 Adults at Vigil Mass (Zenit 27/3/05)
John Paul II's 2005 Easter Message (Zenit 27/3/05)

29 Mar 2005