After forgiving attacker, Pope sends across a message of tolerance

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New York, Dec. 26 (ANI): Just hours after forgiving the woman who attacked him, Pope Benedict XVI appealed people to "abandon all logic of violence and revenge" and lead with "generosity" on "the path of peaceful coexistence."

In his Christmas Day appearance, blessing to tens of thousands of congregants in St. Peter's Square, the Pope sent across the message of tolerance, which came less than a day after Susanna Maiolo, 25, pushed past security guards to reach the Pope, knocking him down in a chaotic papal mishap, The New York Daily News reports.

The Pope was uninjured, but a prominent French cardinal who was near the Pope also fell, and was hospitalised with a broken hip.

Maiolo, a Swiss-Italian, has been hospitalised and apparently told doctors she did not mean to hurt the Pope.

A Vatican spokesman said the girl was "apparently unbalanced," but they would be "very lenient" with her and she would be pardoned.

"It was an assault, but it wasn't dangerous because she wasn't armed," the spokesman said.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi however took a harsher tone on the incident, less than two weeks after he was attacked at a political rally in Milan.

"We must really put a stop to this machine of lies, extremism and hatred," Berlusconi said.

Berlusconi was attacked December 13 as he walked to his car. A man with a history of mental problems hit Berlusconi in the face with a small statue, breaking his nose and several teeth. (ANI)

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