Pope Knocked Down, Continues Christmas Mass (VIDEO)
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was knocked down by a woman while entering St. Peter’s Basilica to celebrate the traditional Christmas Eve mass. Security immediately detained the woman, who is mentally unstable, while the pontiff stood up and continued with the procession as if nothing had happened.
The Pope then continued on with the mass which has the theme about selfishness which according to him “makes us prisoners of our interests and our desires”.
The woman was able to knock down a cardinal during the process. French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray fell ill, was given first aid and was then taken to a hospital.
Health concerns of the Pope have been plaguing the Vatican. The 82-year-old leader of the Catholic Church has only been ill once during his papacy and that was for a fractured wrist last July. He did however suffered from brain hemorrhage while still known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The Christmas Eve mass was scheduled at 10 PM instead of the traditional 12 midnight. Vatican said that it was adjusted so that it will be less tiring for the pope.
His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had always insisted that the mass be celebrated at midnight despite his long-term illness.
The woman, who was able to go pass security and jump over the barrier, was later arrested. This is the second year that a woman was able to jump over the barrier. In last year’s incident however, the woman was not able to come close to the pope as she was immediately blocked. It is still being checked if they are the same woman.
Raw Video: Pope Knocked Down at Christmas Mass