Holy Father meets privately with Christmas assailant

.- Pope Benedict XVI had a “brief meeting” with Susanna Maiolo in a room adjacent to the Paul VI Hall following Wednesday morning’s general audience.  The encounter gave the two their first personal contact after their less formal “encounter” on Dec. 24.

Shortly after the audience, Fr. Federico Lombardi released a statement informing the press of the private visit between the Pontiff, Maiolo and accompanying members of her family.

During their brief conversation, Maiolo “expressed her regret for what happened” before the  Christmas Mass, and the Holy Father took the opportunity to personally “manifest his forgiveness and his interest and good wishes for her health.”

The Pope had already transmitted his forgiveness to her through his personal aide, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, who visited her on New Year's Eve while she was recovering in a hospital outside of Rome.

The statement from Lombardi also mentioned that the “investigation started by the magistrate of the Vatican City State will run its course until its fulfilment.”

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