Vatican officials say Pope John Paul II is getting nutrition through a nasal tube to boost his calorie intake and help what they call his "slow and progressive" recovery from throat surgery.

A Vatican spokesman said the pontiff spends many hours in an armchair, celebrates Mass and works in contact with his aides in directly following church activities.

He issued the statement shortly after the 84-year-old pontiff appeared at his window overlooking Saint Peter's Square Wednesday, to bless the faithful.

The crowd greeted the pope with cheers and applause when he raised his hand to bless them. But he was unable to speak when an aide put a microphone in front of him.

The Vatican statement was the first official medical report on the pope since March 10, three days before he was discharged from a hospital following a tracheotomy.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.