Pope Benedict XVI Forgives Christmas Eve Attacker Susanna Maiolo
Pope Benedict XVI met with Susanna Maiolo, the woman who attacked him during the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Maiolo, 25, attacked Pope Benedict as he was making his way to the altar to start the Midnight Mass. She jumped the barrier and pulled Pope Benedict's clothes, knocking the 82-year-old Pope to the ground. The Pope was helped to his feet and continued with the service as normal. However, Cardinal Etchegaray, 87, who was caught up in the attack sustained a hip fracture and had to get treatment.
Today, Pope Benedict XVI met with Maiolo's family and publicly forgave Maiolo, using that opportunity to warn people against selfishness. It is known that Maiolo has a history of psychiatric problems. She attempted to attack Pope Benedict at the Midnight Mass in 2008, but was not successful.
Father Lombardi said that Ms Maiolo had “told the Holy Father of her regret for the incident that happened at the beginning of the celebration of Midnight Mass last month. For his part, the Pope expressed his forgiveness as well as his cordial concern and his best wishes for her health."