The Pope had a meeting with the woman who knocked him down
Pope Benedict XVI met with Susanna Maiolo, the woman who knocked him down in his act, according to sources from the Vatican.
The pontiff held a meeting with Susanna Maiolo on Wednesday in a room next to the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, said Federico Lombardi, a spokesman from the Vatican.
The woman, said Lombardi, expressed to the Pope her “regret” about the incident and apologized. Benedict XVI expressed his forgiveness and asked about her health.
The Italian-Swiss woman Susanna Maiolo tried to approach the Pope in 2008 in a celebration of the same kind, but she didn’t succeed that year.
She tried it again last December and after traveling to Rome, she got an invitation to the act. She sat near one of the two fences placed in the center of the Basilica of St. Peter, where the Pope use to walk to reach the altar.
When the pope walked near where she was, she jumped the fence and despite the immediate intervention of the convoy managed to reach the pontiff, and grabbing his stole she make him lose balance and fell.
The Pope, helped by the Pontifical security guards stood up, and the procession resumed normally.
But the French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 87, who was with the Pope, fell and broke his right femur, and had to undergo surgery at Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome.
Maiolo was arrested immediately and taken to a health center near the Vatican, where doctors said that “she didn’t want to hurt the Pope.” She was then taken to a psychiatric center in the town of Subiaco, about 80 miles east of Rome, where she is being treated.