security guards were pretty quick to react, i mean, the Pope still ended up being dragged to the ground as she grabbed him, but security was almost instant in their reactions, grabbing the "assailant" Miss Susanna Maiolo (25) and helping the Pope back to his feet. Pope Benedict then continued his procession as normal, if only perhaps slightly stunned. Uncannily, although the Pope was completely unhurt,Cardinal Etchegaray (87) who was standing a few meters away from the Pope when the incident occured, suffered a broken leg, and was carted off to hospital.
Pic left; Pope assailant Susanna Maiolo
A Vatican spokesman stated that Maiolo (a Swiss Italian) was "apparently unbalanced," but that they would be "very lenient" with her and said that she would be pardoned. "It was an assault, but it wasn't dangerous because she wasn't armed,"
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2009/12/25/2009-12-25_pope_benedict_forgives_.html#ixzz0am5FdsQa
Watch Video of Pope Benedict being knocked down (AP)