Pope Knocked Down During Christmas Eve Mass By Unstable Woman (Video)
December 25, 2009
(ChattahBox) – Pope Benedict XVI was knocked down by a young woman who jumped over a security barricade and pulled the 82-year-old pontiff to the floor during Christmas Eve mass at St Peter’s Basilica, but he carried on, only slightly shaken. Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 87, however broke his hip after falling, although he was a few meters away and was taken to the hospital. Relieved applause broke out as the pontiff got back on his feet within moments. Susanna Maiolo, 25, dressed in a bright red sweater (see video below) now under observation in hospital, attempted the same stunt last year without success. Authorities described the woman who was unarmed, and of dual Swiss and Italian nationality, as “apparently unbalanced.” Maiolo already tried to get near the pope on the same occasion last year but security guards held her back, a spokesman said.
Hours later Pope Benedict delivered his traditional Christmas message at the Vatican, in a firm voice in front of thousands of pilgrims, appearing undaunted by the earlier incident.
He said the Church was a “source of unity” for many people across the world and called for those in conflict zones to show respect for one another.