Paul Joseph Jean Cardinal Poupard Paul Joseph Jean Cardinal Poupard
Function:
President of Culture, Roman Curia
Title:
Cardinal Priest of S Prassede
Birthdate:
Aug 30, 1930
Country:
France
Elevated:
May 25, 1985
More information:
www.catholic-hierarchy.org
Send a text about this cardinal »
View all articles about this cardinal »
English Pope's security should have been tighter, says cardinal
Dec 26, 2009
A cardinal who was with Pope Benedict XVI when he was assaulted during midnight mass in the Vatican said Friday security should have been tighter at the service.

Pope's security should have been tighter, says cardinal
Agence France-Presse
First Posted 23:44:00 12/25/2009

PARIS

A cardinal who was with Pope Benedict XVI when he was assaulted during midnight mass in the Vatican said Friday security should have been tighter at the service.

A woman vaulted a barrier at St Peter's Basilica and dragged the 82-year-old pope to the ground as he made his way to celebrate Christmas Eve mass.

The pope quickly got up and led the service with no apparent after-effects, but French Cardinal Paul Poupard, who was a few meters away at the time of the assault, said the incident was "definitely a threat to the pope".

"With hindsight, you would say greater vigilance was needed, so those in charge of security should not let their guard drop even for a second," the cardinal said on RTL radio, though he acknowledged the difficulty of the task.

"You can go over everything with a fine-tooth comb, (but) if someone really wants to do harm, they will do it -- you can never have a 100 percent guarantee of stopping them," he added.

Poupard described the moment the 25-year-old assailant -- who had tried to lunge at the pope last Christmas too before being restrained by bodyguards -- leapt over the barriers.

"I was a couple of paces away, I was one of the closest to him... We were walking forwards, singing with joy, the joyful spirit of Christmas, when bang, all of a sudden I heard a cry, turned round and there was a person jumping up."

Poupard was with the pope and other cardinals in St Peter's as they arrived for midnight mass, which had been brought forward to 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) to avoid tiring the pontiff during the busy Christmas period.

The cardinal said he redoubled his prayers for the pope after the attack.

"I told him this and of course he thanked me. He greeted us one by one, gently, peacefully," Poupard said.

Interviewed on French radio Europe 1, the Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-trois said he thought the incident was "not absolutely extraordinary".

"Statistically, given the number of people who meet the pope in a week, it is predictable that someone will come with an aggressive intention."
45 READERS ONLINE
INDEX
RSS Feed
back to the first page
printer-friendly
CARDINALS
in alphabetical order
by country
Roman Curia
under 80
over 80
deceased
ARTICLES
last postings
most read articles
all articles
CONTACT
send us relevant texts
SEARCH