Wednesday 21 February 2018

Pope forgives his Christmas Eve attacker

Richard Owen in Rome

The Pope has forgiven the woman who knocked him over at Mass on Christmas Eve.

Susanna Maiolo (25) had a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and members of her family yesterday, the Vatican said.

Ms Maiolo, who has a history of psychiatric problems, jumped over a barrier in St Peter's Basilica as the Pope (82) was walking to the altar at the start of Mass. She pulled him down by tugging at his robes.

He was unhurt but Cardinal Roger Etchegaray (87) broke his hip.

Vatican officials said that charges were unlikely. Ms Maiolo had tried to reach the Pope on the same day the year before.

After the attack she was treated at a clinic in Subiaco outside Rome. The Vatican said that Ms Maiolo "told the Holy Father of her regret . . . For his part, the Pope expressed his forgiveness as well as his cordial concern and his best wishes for her health".

The Pope will visit the Rome synagogue on Sunday despite his decision to proceed with the beatification of Pope Pius XII, who is accused of having failed to speak out against the Holocaust. (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent

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