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Recuperating Pope Makes Appearance

March 10, 2002

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VATICAN CITY (AP) _ Pope John Paul II, recuperating from a bout of knee pain that forced him to cancel several public appearances, briefly greeted pilgrims from his window overlooking St. Peter’ Square on Sunday.

It was his second public appearance in as many days.

The pontiff, who turns 82 in May, was barely visible as he stood in the window of his office high above the square. His speech was slurred and his arm shaking from symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

What the Vatican has described as a bout of painful arthritis in his knee, had forced the pope to cancel four straight Sunday parish visits and his weekly audience last Wednesday.

On Saturday, John Paul greeted a group of Polish pilgrims. Using a cane and helped along by his secretary, he walked into a Vatican auditorium, then sat in a chair and read a long speech in Polish.

John Paul has a heavy schedule of Holy Week ceremonies coming up in March. They culminate Easter celebrations. At least three trips abroad are on his schedule later this year.

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