INTRODUCTION: Pope John Paul, still in intensive care after the attempt on his life, was making steady progress towards recovery, hospital director Emilio Tresalti said as his chief aide led prayers for the Pontiff's recovery in St.
GV EXT Gemelli hospital where Pope is being treated. GV INT man carrying bouquets (2 shots)
GV INT Security personnel at hospital
GV Professor Emilio Tresalti speaking to reporters in Italian
MUTE FOOTAGE. GV PAN Crowds in St. Peter's Square. MUTE footage ends
GV PAN Crowd in St. Peter's Square applauding. GV Casaroli speaking to crowd. Prayers for John Paul the Second. GV Crowd (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Pope John Paul, still in intensive care after the attempt on his life, was making steady progress towards recovery, hospital director Emilio Tresalti said as his chief aide led prayers for the Pontiff's recovery in St. Peter's Square.
SYNOPSIS: This was the scene at the Gemelli hospital in Rome where the Pope was being treated. Flowers from well-wishers flooded in as the Pontiff continued to recover from the delicate emergency operation which followed Wednesday's (13 May) attempt on his life.
Professor Emilio Tresalti, the hospital's medical director, said the Pope had been suffering spasms of sharp pain. His condition was still serious, Professor Tresalti said, though it was no worse than could be expected.
Meanwhile thousands of Christian workers from all over the world gathered in St. Peter's Square. They were there to celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of Pope Leo X111's encyclical "Rerum Novarum", which marked a new departure in the Catholic Church's attitude to the rights of the working class - a cause close to the heart of Polish-born Pope John Paul the Second. His chief aide, Vatican Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli, kept the appointment the Pontiff had planned to conduct himself and led the crowd in prayers for the Pope's swift recovery.
Casaroli, one of only three non-medical personnel who had been allowed into the Pontiff's hospital room, is number two in the Vatican's Governmental Division. He must now fill in for the Pope at all administrative occasions until the Pontiff recovers.