Pope Makes Surprise Appearance

Pope waves from hospital window in surprise appearance

Pope John Paul made a surprise appearance from his hospital window today, waving to the faithful just after a top Vatican official read a statement from him asking for prayers.

John Paul, who was dressed in his white vestments, was wheeled to the window and blessed the crowd by making the sign of the cross in clear gestures. He's recovering from breathing problems that necessitated a tracheotomy. Vatican officials say they were brought on by a relapse of the flu. This is the first time Pope John Paul has not been able to say the Sunday Angelus prayer. He never missed it, even when he was traveling throughout the world or right after he'd been shot in 1981.

No word yet on when he's expected to be released from the hospital.