Vatican City, Dec 25, 2009 / 17:34 pm
Pope Benedict XVI took a fall at Thursday evening’s Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica when he was pulled to the ground by a woman who jumped a barrier and appeared to try to hug him. The Pontiff was not hurt, but Cardinal Roger Etchegaray of France who was nearby was also thrown to floor and suffered a broken leg.
The Italian Daily La Repubblica reported that Benedict XVI, members of the Roman curia and other clergy were processing into the basilica to begin Mass on Christmas Eve when Susanna Maiolo, a young Italian-Swiss national, leaped a barrier and attempted to run to the Pope. She was met by a security guard before she reached the Holy Father, but as she fell away from him she managed to grab at the Pontiff and pull him down with her.