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."
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.
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
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
UK hospital accused of selling body parts for booze
2014 07 31
A leading cancer hospital is to be investigated following allegations that one of its staff members exchanged human body samples for whisky and cash.
The calls to investigate Christies NHS foundation trust came after the accusation was made by an anonymous whistleblower, prompting British MP Rosie Cooper to contact the watchdog, the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), the Manchester Evening News reports.
15 dead, over 220 injured as multiple gas explosions hit Taiwan city
2014 07 31
Several blasts have ripped through Kaohsiung, a city in south-western Taiwan, killing 15, injuring over 220 and overturning the cars in the street, the Fire Agency said. The cause is thought to be gas leaks in the sewage system.
The number of those injured is expected to rise, the Fire Department said. Many were also taken to schools across the city ...
TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR on front page of alleged U.S. criteria for terrorist list
2014 07 31
We highlighted the recent report from Glenn Greenwald’s site, The Intercept, about the United States administration’s ’Terror Watch List’, and how "a 166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center, spells out the government’s secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database".
Read: BLACKLISTED: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
A reader with a sharp ...
Why is the State so obsessed by, and careless with, deadly pathogens?
2014 07 31
Earlier this month, we ran a report on the CDC anthrax blunder. As if that weren’t bad enough, there have been additional exposures since we posted that report. This time, it involved the shipment of live, highly contagious, and deadly H5N1 avian influenza samples.
As previously reported, as many as 841 scientists and staff members at a US Centers for Disease ...
‘Catastrophic’: Hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer warns of EMP
2014 07 31
Imminent: ‘Only a matter of time’ until entire electric grid destroyed by natural or man-made event…
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer is warning investors – and more broadly, lawmakers and leaders – about the potential destructive power of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, which could be triggered by solar events or artificially, via blasts in the atmosphere.
According to Singer, research ...
|More News » |