82 Year-Old Pope Benedict Attacked, Knocked Down at Midnight Mass (Video) …Update: Same Nut Tried to Attack Pope in 2008

A crazed woman jumped the barriers at St. Peter’s Basilica and attacke 82 year-old Pope Benedict XVI at Midnight Mass knocking him to the floor.


Vatican security officials rush to protect Pope Benedictus XVI after he was attacked at Midnight Mass today.
BBC video
The AP reported:

A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday, a Vatican spokesman said.

The Rev. Ciro Benedettini said the 82-year-old pope quickly got up and was unhurt. As the pope’s procession was making its way toward the main altar gasps rang out through the public and a commotion could be seen among the clergymen surrounding Benedict. The procession came to a halt and bodyguards rushed to the trouble spot.

Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a check up.

“During the procession an unstable person jumped a barrier and knocked down the Holy Father,” Benedettini told The Associated Press by telephone. “(The pope) quickly got up and continued the procession.”

After the incident, Benedict calmly resumed his walk to the basilica’s main altar to start the Mass.

Here is a better look at the crazy woman who took down the pope:

UPDATE: This same nut tried to attack the pope in 2008.
FOX News reported:

French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, an 87-year-old Vatican diplomat, fractured his hip in the commotion and will be operated on at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

Benedict appeared a bit unsteady as he approached his chair on the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square to deliver his traditional Christmas blessing and was steadied by an attendant.

But he then spread open his arms, blessed the crowd and delivered his “Urbi et Orbi” speech, Latin for “To the city and the world,” without any problem. He followed with Christmas greetings in 65 different languages that drew sustained cheers and chants from the crowd…

Lombardi identified the woman who toppled Benedict as Susanna Maiolo, 25, a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems. He said Maiolo, who was not armed, was taken to a clinic for necessary treatment.

She was the same woman involved in a similar incident at last year’s Midnight Mass, Vatican officials said. In that case, Maiolo jumped the barricade but never managed to reach the pope and was quietly tackled by security.

You’d think they would have kept an eye out for this crazed woman before the service. You’d think.

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