Pope Benedict Attacked During X-Mas Eve Mass

Security failed the Pontiff.

The Vatican's security arrangements were being scrutinised today after Pope Benedict XVI was knocked to the ground during Christmas Eve mass by a woman who tried to launch a similar attack on him a year ago.

Susanna Maiolo, a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems, jumped the barricade at the start of the service mass in St Peter's Basilica and was able to grab Benedict's vestments before security guards brought her down. The 82-year-old pontiff was uninjured and went on to deliver his Christmas Eve homily and his Christmas Day blessing today, although a French cardinal's hip was broken during the incident.

Questions are being asked as to why Maiolo, 25, who jumped the barricade at midnight mass last year wearing a red sweatshirt similar to the one she wore yesterday, was allowed into the service. Last year's attack was foiled when she was tackled to the ground by security before she could reach the pope.

Read the rest at The Guardian. Video below the fold.

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