Pope John Paul II has been given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church as his health deteriorates, a Vatican source tells CNN.
Vatican source: Pope given last rites
Ailing pontiff suffers from high fever with urinary tract infection
VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II was given the last rites of the Roman Catholic Church late Thursday night as his health deteriorated, a Vatican source has told CNN.
The pope is suffering from a high fever caused by a urinary tract infection, the Vatican confirmed Thursday -- one day after revealing he had been put on a nasal feeding tube for nutrition
The pope is taking antibiotics, a Vatican spokesman said.
Joaquin Navarro-Valls said in a statement released Wednesday: "To improve his calorific intake and promote an efficient recovery of his strength, nutrition via the positioning of a nasal-gastric tube has begun."
The pope underwent a tracheotomy February 24 and still has a tube inserted in his windpipe to help his breathing.
Earlier Wednesday, the pope appeared at his studio window and blessed the thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square.
He appeared alert during the four-minute appearance, which drew cheers from the crowd gathered beneath his window.
He raised his hand in blessing and made the sign of the cross as a Vatican official read greetings and prayers.
A microphone was raised to his face as he tried to speak, but the words were not clear.
The pope has spent a total of 28 days in two stints at Gemelli hospital in Rome in the past two months.
Nicola Cerbino, a spokesman at the hospital, said Wednesday that there was no plan to hospitalize the pope.
On Monday the pope skipped the post-Easter Angelus prayer for the first time in his 26-year papacy.
The 84-year-old pope suffers from a number of chronic illnesses, including crippling hip and knee ailments, and Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurological disorder that can make breathing difficult.
Throughout his various illnesses and brushes with death, even after the assassination attempt against him in 1981, the pope always said his life was in God's hands.
CNN's Alessio Vinci contributed to this report.