A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI, as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday, the Associated Press reports today.
The 82-year-old pope quickly got up and was unhurt, said Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini. The woman was swarmed by bodyguards.
Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police.
Benedict made no reference to the incident as the service started. He did appear somewhat shaken and leaned heavily on aides and an armrest as he sat down in his chair.