.- In a statement this morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls confirmed hopes that Pope John Paul II will return to the Vatican in time for Holy Week. Navarro-Valls told assembled journalists that, "The Holy Father, accepting the advice of his doctors, will extend his stay in Gemelli Polyclinic by a few more days, in order to complete his convalescence which is progressing regularly.”
In addition to confirming the Pope’s return to the Vatican, Navarro-Valls indicated that this Sunday’s Angelus would "follow the same model as the two previous Sundays" in which the Holy Father made a brief appearance at his hospital window and gave a blessing.
The press office director added that the Pope continues to receive his collaborators, "with whom he follows the activity of the Holy See and the life of the Church.”
He said that, “Yesterday, [the Pope] received Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. Thus, he has resumed the meetings he customarily holds when working in the Vatican."
The Holy See is expected to release its next formal statement regarding the Pope’s health on March 14th.