Action Alert!

the system worked-- perfectly!

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 08, 2010

Rushing in where even Janet Napolitano fears to tread, Salvatore Festa, who coordinates security at the Vatican, told L’Osservatore Romano that in the Christmas Eve assault on Pope Benedict, “everything worked perfectly that night.”

Let’s review: the woman who had tried to assault the Pope on Christmas Eve 2008 walked through the security system—wearing the same red sweater she had worn the previous year—on Christmas Eve 2009. She was not a trained assassin. She apparently had no malign intentions. She was not particularly imposing or athletic. Yet she still managed to reach the Pope and knock him down.  

The Holy Father wasn’t seriously hurt. His guardian angel “worked perfectly.” But the security forces? Not so much.

When one elderly man is pulled to the floor, and another (Cardinal Etchegaray) is thrown down, breaks his leg, and needs a hip replacement, that’s bad. When the damage is done not by a elite team of special-forces operatives, but by a single deranged woman, that’s worse. When the security boss says the system worked—no, wait; it worked perfectlyyou need a new security boss.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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