Papal emissary visits woman who attacked Benedict


The Vatican said the Pope's private secretary, Georg Gaenswein, had visited the woman over the past few days in order to express "the Holy Father's interest in her well-being."
According to the Sunday issue of Il Giornale newspaper, Gaenswein's visit came on Dec 31 at which he also expressed Benedict's "forgiveness" to the 25-year-old.

In the incident, the Italo-Swiss woman jumped over a barrier and threw herself at the 82-year-old pontiff in St Peter's Church as he was leading the Mass procession on Christmas eve, knocking him down.

Afterwards, the woman was taken to a clinic, where she has been kept ever since.
Italian media were speculating that the woman, who was not carrying a weapon and was suffering from psychological problems, could be released.

If she did appear before a Vatican court and sentenced, she could expect to serve any jail term in Italy or Switzerland. But Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi a few days ago commented that "The Holy See's justice is usually benevolent."

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