.- Pope John Paul II’s health “continues to improve and show progress” following a tracheotomy surgery last week, said Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls in a statement to journalists this morning. He reiterated what he said in his previous statement earlier this week that, “the Pope is eating regularly and spends several hours each day in an armchair.”
Navarro-Valls also assured reporters that, "The surgical wound is healing”, and said that, "the daily sessions for rehabilitation of breathing and speaking continue, with the active collaboration of the Holy Father.”
He went on, stating that, "In recent days the Pope has been receiving several of his collaborators with whom he daily follows the activity of the Holy See and the life of the Church. He usually receives one collaborator a day."
Later in the day, the Vatican spokesman met briefly with the media, and said that no date had been set for the Pope's release from Gemelli hospital, but pointed told them that the next medical bulletin will be on March 7.
When asked about the Vatican's liturgical schedule for Easter, Navarro-Valls said, "The Easter calendar is the same, but the Pope will have to decide on his participation.”
Regarding this Sunday’s Angelus prayer, he said that it seems "there will be the same scenario as last Sunday.”
I will confirm, this on Saturday but when we spoke of it today at the hospital, this seemed the orientation."
Last Sunday, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri read the Pope's reflections and led the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square, following which, in a surprise move, the Pope appeared at the closed window of his hospital suite", Navarro-Valls said.
It was the first time in his 26-year pontificate that the Holy Father failed to provide the Angelus blessing.