Pope in 'very serious condition' late Thursday
Pope John Paul II's medical condition has worsened, the Italian news agency Apcom reported Thursday night, citing unidentified sources. The Vatican neither confirmed nor denied the report. The Vatican's only news released said "news reports are being strictly controlled at this time".
Apcom said doctors had to intervene because of a "worrying lowering of [blood] pressure."
A Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was unaware of such a worsening in the pontiff's health and that at least a few hours ago, the pope's situation was "regular."
Although public appearances by the pope are generally seen as a sign of sustained health, when John Paul II appeared at his studio window Wednesday, he cast the opposite impression. His hands shaking, the pope strained his voice, but let out nothing but a muffled gurgle.
In another sign of his increasing frailty, the pope has begun receiving nutrition through a feeding tube in his nose, the Vatican said, acknowledging the pope's recovery from surgery last month has been "slow."
In a statement Wednesday, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said John Paul had been outfitted with a nasogastric tube to "improve the calorie intake and favor an effective recovery of strength."
John Paul's brief appearance at his studio window Wednesday was his second unsuccessful attempt to speak to the crowds in St. Peter's Square that week.
After managing just a rasp of his voice, he blessed well-wishers by making the sign of the cross with his hand and withdrew.
On Easter Sunday, the other appearance, mass was tinged with sadness, CBS News Correspondent Allen Pizzey reports. On the day when John Paul usually blesses the world in sixty languages, he could not utter a single intelligible word.