Vatican Likely to Acquit Pope Attacker Due to Psychological Issues

The woman who knocked down Pope Benedict XVI during a Christmas Eve mass will most likely be acquitted of charges due to her mental state, the Vatican reported Monday.

Susanna Maiolo, a 25-year-old Swiss-Italian woman, leapt over a barricade last Thursday at St. Peter's Basilica and pushed down the pope before officials could detain her. The woman had attempted the same attack last year but was stopped by officials.

Maiolo has a reported history of psychological problems and is currently being detained in a psychiatric unit outside of Rome.

The Vatican said Benedict was unharmed during the attack and has already forgiven Maiolo.

The pontiff made his first public appearance since the attack on Sunday as he visited a soup kitchen near Vatican City.

Eating with 150 people including migrants from Afghanistan, Somali, Nigeria, and Romania, the pope said that no one should be marginalized or abandoned in Italy today.