Woman knocks Pope down at Christmas Mass (Video)
2009 12 25

From: BBC News

A shaken Pope Benedict has said Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter's shortly after being knocked over by a spectator who jumped a barrier.


Video from: YouTube.com

The woman, said to be mentally unstable, managed to grab him by his vestments near the neck area as a security guard tried to overwhelm her.
French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 87, was standing a few metres away and fell and broke his leg during the incident.

Proceeding with Mass, Benedict looked shaken and stumbled over some words.

The service in the Vatican started two hours early because officials did not want the pontiff, 82, to get tired.

As members of the 1.1-billion Catholic community celebrated Christmas around the world, thousands of pilgrims gathered in Bethlehem where Latin Patriarch Foud Twal, the most senior Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land, said the region's aspiration of peace remained out of reach.
"The wish that we most want, we most hope for, is not coming," he said after passing into Bethlehem in a traditional holiday procession from nearby Jerusalem.

"We want peace."

Woman arrested

The incident involving the Pope lasted only a few seconds and was caught on camera by at least one eyewitness.

Dressed in a red hooded sweatshirt, the attacker leaped over the barrier towards the Pope, prompting gasps from the crowd.

"All of a sudden this person sort of flew over the barricade and the Holy Father went down and all of a sudden all the security people were all on top of it, you know the whole pile there, getting her off and pulling him back up," eyewitness MaryBeth Burns, a US tourist, told the Associated Press.

Security officials rushed down the main aisle to detain the woman, who was later arrested by police. Her name was not immediately known.
The Pope had to be helped up by the master of ceremonies at his side, the BBC's David Willey in Rome says.

The theme of his homily was selfishness which, he said, "makes us prisoners of our interests and our desires".

The incident is the latest, and apparently the most serious, in a number of security scares involving Benedict:

• During last year's Christmas Mass, a woman also jumped a barrier and got close to the Pope but was quickly restrained by security officials

• In June 2007, a man tried to jump on to the "popemobile" carrying Benedict to his weekly address in St Peter's Square but was wrestled to the ground by security personnel

The Vatican said earlier that the decision to move the midnight Mass to 2200 (2100 GMT) was "to make Christmas a little less tiring for the Pope, who has many engagements".

The pontiff earlier appeared briefly at nightfall at the window of his studio to light a candle in a sign of peace.

Tourism boom

In Bethlehem, festivities began with a traditional boy scout band and ended with midnight Mass in St Catherine's Church, next to the Church of the Nativity.

Arriving in Bethlehem, the Latin Patriarch said people in the region wanted freedom of movement.

"We don't want walls, we don't want separation fences."

Addressing worshippers, he added: "[This land's] inhabitants are brothers who see each other as enemies.

"This land will deserve to be called holy when she breathes freedom, justice, love, reconciliation, peace and security."

The Mass was said next to the church built over the stall where Mary is believed to have given birth to Jesus.
Some 300 Christians over the age of 35 from the Gaza Strip were given permission by the Israeli military to leave the territory and come to Bethlehem for 24 hours to celebrate Christmas.

A total of 15,000 tourists are expected in the town during this period, in a year that has seen a record number of visitors - some 1.6 million.

Article from: News.BBC.co.uk



Related Articles
Woman knocks down pope at Christmas Eve Mass
Czechs: Pope is irrelevant, nonsensical, and waste of time and money
Pope calls for a new world authority
Pope Signs New Globalization Encyclical
Joseph Ratzinger and The Secret History - Why The Pope Is To Blame For the Sex Scandals
Pope 'obstructed' sex abuse inquiry
Environment activists breach EU summit security
Security lapse risked Queen's life
State dinner crashers met Obama - Dangerous Security Breach Unexplained


Latest News from our Front Page

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
6 Million Lies
2014 10 30
“If you do not specify and confront real issues, what you say will surely obscure them. If you do not alarm anyone morally, you yourself remain morally asleep. If you do not embody controversy, what you say will be an acceptance of the drift of the coming hell.” C Wright Mills. I need to share information I have discovered ...
Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
More News »