Solidarity addresses to the pope, get-well wishes for the injured Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, Internet forums about the perpetrator – the incident from the Christmas Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, when an apparently mentally deranged woman jumped the barriers and pulled the pope to the ground, moves the public and the Vatican security forces. Benedict XVI. meanwhile seems unimpressed.
Neither during his traditional Christmas message on Christmas Day, nor on Saturday did he address the ie. Others reacted: Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano sent the pope get-well wishes. And Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a few days ago injured in the face in a throwing attack, sent greetings in the name of the government and all Italians. The Italian Bishops' Conference ared the Pope of solidarity and prayer. And Cardinal-Protodeacon Agostino Cacciavillan received special applause this time when, before the "Urbi et orbi" blessing at noon on Friday, he combined the indulgence formula with the wish: "That God may keep us the Pope at the head of the Church for a long time to come.". Benedict XVI. Apparently remained unharmed in the incident. Neither at the subsequent Christmas Mass, nor at the "Urbi et orbi" blessing on Christmas Day, nor at the Angelus prayer on Saturday did his speech or motor skills seem altered in any way. The former Vatican "crisis minister" Etchegaray has to bear the heaviest consequences of the attack. The 87-year-old Frenchman, who was walking in the procession as cardinal bishop immediately before the pope, fell in the melee and suffered a fracture of the neck of the femur. His general health is good, he looks forward to his surgery on Sunday with optimism, the Vatican said. The cardinal already received many recovery wishes. Benedict XVI. had his greetings conveyed by his private secretary Prelate Georg Ganswein, who went to the bedside of the "Gemelli Clinic" on Friday afternoon.
Discussion on the protection of top personalities Meanwhile, a discussion has begun in Italy and the Vatican about the protection of top personalities, especially the pope. Security forces should be beefed up, security distance from crowds increased, politicians and commentators advised. Vatican tries to keep discussion down. One does not overestimate the matter. He said there were always people who tried to approach the pope. Most come with friendly intentions, he said; some are a bit over-motivated or mentally unbalanced. At no time, however, was there any danger to the Pope's life, the gendarmerie ares. The existing security measures were sufficient. The 25-year-old perpetrator, Susanna Maiolo, also reportedly ared doctors during her examination, according to Italian media reports, "I meant no harm to the pope". The woman, obviously mentally disturbed, managed to jump over the barriers and, despite the intervention of the security forces, grabbed the Pope's stole, whereupon the latter lost his balance and fell to the ground. The woman who tried to reach the pope a year ago in almost the same place and wearing the same red jacket is currently receiving medical attention. Their case remains under Vatican jurisdiction. In the next few days, the judiciary will examine the report of the doctors as well as the Vatican gendarmerie and decide on further steps, the Vatican announced Saturday. In the meantime, discussion forums on the Internet are dealing with the incident. In the online network Facebook explained themselves about until Saturday afternoon about 1.000 users as fans of Maiolo – and the number continues to rise by the hour. In addition to supportive comments, there are also critical comments on the website. There can be no absolute protection for the pope, meanwhile, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi stressed. As long as the pope continues his pastoral ministry, with public masses and audiences, there will always be a residual risk. The price for a hundred percent protection would be too high. For then the head of the church would have to lock himself unapproachably inside the Vatican.