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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Friday, December 25, 2009

    Exclusive: Eyewitness video of tonight's attack on the Pope

    First of all - Pope Benedict is fine, but we need to pray for his safety.

    AmP readers have helped me obtain exclusive (at this point) access to information and video about the episode which took place this evening at St. Peter's Basilica as the Holy Father was beginning his procession down the aisle.

    First: My friend Harry says this woman was the same woman who tried to jump the pope last year (the Associated Press speculated it might have been but could not confirm - my friend can).

    My friend Harry was standing next to this same woman last year before she made her first attempt (that we know of). It is distressing that Vatican security did not recognize her this year before she made this new attempt.

    Second, this eyewitness video (shot by Steve Burns) - an AmP online exclusive at this point - shows a much better angle of the attack than the video the Associated Press and other outlets are currently using.

    This video shows that the woman was tackled by security before she reached the pope, but not before she was able to grab onto his vestments to break her fall. We can see how violently he was pulled down. We should be thankful for the fact that it does not appear at this point that the pope was injured.

    The attack begins at the 0:48 mark:

    More on this story as it develops....

    update - AmP reader Courtney was near the pope when this episode took place and reports:
    "[The pope] was down for about 30 seconds total, and he appeared to be just fine when he got up. A guy yelled "Viva il Papa!" and everybody started cheering and clapping, and the Holy Father continued up to the altar and proceeded with Mass. Some of the people near us seemed a little shaken, but the Pope sure didn't. I understand that the woman was arrested (per the AP camera guy) ... The long and short of it is that we should all be praying for the Holy Father, every day."
    Amen - let's say a prayer today for the pope's continuing safety.

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