VATICAN

Pope Attacker Struck Before

The string of bad luck encountered by world leaders in Italy continued Thursday as Pope Benedict XVI was knocked down by a woman jumping the crowd barriers in St. Peter's, while he walked down the aisle to say Christmas Eve Mass. The pontiff arose quickly and was unhurt, according to the Vatican; the woman, Swiss and Italian citizen Susanna Maiolo, 25, is said to be mentally unstable. However, a cardinal's leg was broken during the scuffle. This was the second year in a row that such an event has occurred and the previous time involved Maiolo as well: At the end of the Mass last year, she jumped the barriers and came near the pope before being blocked by security.