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Pope Recovering with Breathing and Speaking Therapy

Doctors are reported to be optimistic about Pope John Paul's health conditions, and the Vatican says the pope is recovering well from last week's health surgery.

The statement said the pope has been recovering without complications and has begun exercises to help with his breathing and speaking. The statement also said the pope is eating regularly and spending some hours sitting in an armchair.

Italian media reports say the pope spent a fourth restful night in the hospital. Since his operation, the pope has a small tube fitted to his throat to help him breathe better.

The pope made a surprise appearance at his hospital window Sunday to wave to the pilgrims gathered below to hear his message read by an aide. He was sitting in a wheelchair and made the sign of the cross twice to bless the Roman Catholic faithful.

The pope also pointed to his throat as if to explain why he was not reading his message. It was the first time the pope was seen in public since he underwent surgery. In his Sunday message, the pope asked the faithful to continue to pray for him.

The Vatican has not given any information on how long the pope's tube will remain in place or how long the pope will be staying in the hospital.

The pope spent 10 days in the hospital earlier this month recovering from breathing problems linked to the flu. His relapse has led some to question whether he was released too soon.

Mexican Cardinal Javier Lozano Jose Barragan was quoted by La Repubblica newspaper saying, "Please, let us not let him get out of the hospital too quickly. In this phase of convalescence it is necessary to be more cautious and less hasty." The Vatican has said it will issue another medical bulletin Thursday.