Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Raucous Night

Those who're watching/will watch B16's 10pm Mass of Christmas in St Peter's will have noticed a disturbance of the procession not captured by the cameras that held things up for several minutes.

The AP reports what happened:
A Vatican spokesman says a woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass.

The Rev. Ciro Benedettini said the pope quickly got up and was unhurt. Benedict, 82, calmly resumed his walk to the basilica's main altar and began the Mass late Thursday.

Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a check up.
Now retired as head of the Cor Unum -- the Holy See's humanitarian arm -- but still an occasional Vatican emissary, Etchegaray, 87, is vice-dean of the College of Cardinals.

Before the Mass, the pontiff placed the traditional Christmas Eve "light of peace" in his apartment window (above), to remain there through the night.

SVILUPPO: Via the crowd, video of the attack:

And from the BBC, an even closer view.

PHOTO: Reuters