National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope meets, forgives Christmas Eve attacker

 | 

VATICAN CITY -- As a sign of his forgiveness, Pope Benedict XVI met with the woman responsible for knocking him down during a Christmas Eve Mass, a papal spokesman said.

The pope met with Susanna Maiolo after leading his weekly general audience Jan. 13 in the Vatican's Paul VI hall, Father Federico Lombardi said in a written statement.

In a private room of the audience hall, the pope held a brief meeting with Maiolo and members of her family in order to "demonstrate his forgiveness," to see how she was doing and to "wish her good health," the statement said.

Maiolo told the pope she was sorry for what had happened during the Christmas Eve Mass, the Vatican said.

Help keep NCR going!
We rely on donations to bring you the latest news.
Donate today.

Maiolo, 25, jumped a security barrier at the start of the Dec. 24 liturgy as Pope Benedict processed into St. Peter's Basilica. As Vatican guards tackled her, she was able to grab the pope's vestments, causing him to lose his balance and tumble to the floor.

She was taken for mandatory psychiatric evaluation to a hospital in Subiaco outside of Rome and released Jan. 9. While hospitalized, she received a visit from the pope's secretary, Msgr. Georg Ganswein, who wished to show the pope's concern for her situation, according to a Vatican statement.

Lombardi said in his Jan. 13 statement that the legal proceeding against Maiolo, which was being carried out by the Vatican's judicial system, would continue until it came to a conclusion.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

08-15-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.