Pope Benedict XVI Unhurt In Attack; Goodwill And VIP Security
You can say they are poles apart.
Still, the fact that Pope Benedict XVI (just hours ago)and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (last December 13) were attacked by obvious unbalanced individuals surely raises many social questions, foremost among them the security provided to VIPs and the motivations and conditions that put their lives in peril, public figures as they are.
The Pontiff was just about to give his trsditional and globally broadcast Christmas Eve message ‘Urbi et Orbi when a lady in red, 25-yesr-old Italian-Swiss national Susanna Maiolo, 25, suddenly sprang up from the crowd and shoved the Pope to the ground.
Benedict lost his miter and his staff in the fall. He remained on the ground for a few seconds before being helped back up by attendants.
The attack didn’t stop the 82-year-old stop Benedict from delivering on his message and Christmas blessing and greeting in 65 different languages.
But he appeared bit unsteady as he approached his chair on the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
It was just 12 days ago tha the flamboyant and widely publicized womanizer Silvio Berlusconi was struck on the face with a model of the Cathedral of Milan by a man described as mentally deranged.
The Italian leader was hospitalized reportedly for a broken nose (apart from two broken teeth).
Days later however videos posted on the internet sought to stir doubts over the incident by hinting it was staged to create sympathy for Berlusconi.
Despite the contrasting attacks on the Pope and the Prime Minister of Italy, I think no one can avoid thinking about our own situation and how nothing should be taken for granted about the personal safety of public figures whether they are public officials or popular private individuals.
We ‘ordinary mortals’ either hold our VIPs, national symbols if you will, in high or low esteem depending on how emblematic they are of our hopes and aspirations, our concerns and frustrations, and even national sanity.
Still and all, goodwill toward our fellowman, whatever his or her station, should, I think, be constant and inviolable.