Pope Attacked at Christmas Eve Mass

Posted Dec 24, 2009 by KJ Mullins
Pope Benedict XVI was attacked during Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. A woman is said to have attacked the Pope as he walked towards the altar.
Susanna Maiolo  25  carried out the dramatic attack on Pope Benedict XVI  inside St. Peter s Basilic...
Susanna Maiolo, 25, carried out the dramatic attack on Pope Benedict XVI, inside St. Peter's Basilica, before Christmas Eve Mass. The Vatican said that the woman would be forgiven.
Italian Ministry Handout
Immediate reports are that the Pope was unharmed and went on to start the mass.
MSNBC reports that the woman jumped over a barrier and was able to knock down the pope. Pope Benedict's security guards helped the pontiff back to his feet.
Early reports from the Daily Mail Online say that the woman was mentally unstable. She has since been arrested by Vatican Police.
The woman also knocked over Cardinal Roger Etchegaray. The cardinal was taken to hospital.
The mass had been moved to an earlier time so that the Pope, 82, would not get exhausted.