Thursday 23 November 2017

Pope celebrates open-air mass despite shooting incident

Patrick Sawer in Berlin

Pope Benedict XVI went ahead with an open-air mass for thousands of worshippers yesterday after shots were fired close to where he was due to stage the service.

A man with an airgun fired up to four times at a guard on the edge of the security zone, set up around the area of the mass, in Erfurt, Germany.

Around 30,000 had been gathering in the square beneath the spires of Erfurt's medieval cathedral, when reports began to filter through of a shooting incident.

Police spokesman Dirk Sauter said the shooting was "several kilometres" from the square.

The gunman was said to have opened fire from within his own flat before being seized by police officers.

Vatican spokesman, the Reverend Federico Lombardi said there was "no worry" in the papal entourage.

The shots were fired around two hours before Pope Benedict began the mass.

Rev Lombardi said it was "an incident that had nothing to do with the Pope" and that "the Pope has not been informed".

© Sunday Telegraph

Sunday Independent

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