Thousands of pilgrims at a key Good Friday ceremony at Rome's Colosseum managed to see the pope only from behind when he appeared on a giant screens on video-link from his private chapel at the Vatican. Catholics around the world anxiously await a sign that his condition is improving. However, so far they haven't seen it. They couldn't even see the Pope's face and this is not normal.

Dissident Catholic theologian Hans Kung says that something like this might damage the Catholic Church. "The pope is seriously ill and deserves every compassion. But the Church must live", said Kung.

Pope had a throat operation. However, because of his Parkinson's disease the recovery is complicated. It was the first time for John Paul II to be physically absent from the Way of the Cross ceremony