Pope assaulted by woman

File: Pope Benedict
File: Pope Benedict

VATICAN CITY (AP) - A Vatican spokesman says a woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass.

The spokesman says the pope got up quickly and was unhurt. Benedict is said to have calmly resumed his walk to the basilica's main altar and began the Mass.

The woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. A cardinal was also knocked down and was taken to a hospital for an exam.

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