Vatican: Pope attacker tried to get him last year

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican says the woman who jumped the barricade and toppled Pope Benedict XVI to the floor during Christmas Eve Mass is the same one who tried to reach him at Midnight Mass last year.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi has identified the woman as Susanna Maiolo, a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems. He said Maiolo was not armed and was taken to a clinic for treatment after the incident.

Vatican officials speaking on condition of anonymity said Maiolo was involved in a similar incident last year in which she jumped the barricade as the pope processed. In that case, however, Maiolo never managed to reach the pope and was quietly tackled to the ground by security.

In both cases she wore a red sweat shirt.

The Pope was not hurt in the incident, CNN reported.

The Associated Press

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