Holy Father Visits Cardinal Etchegaray

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 10, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI visited the Gemelli Polyclinic to see Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 87, who is recovering from injuries incurred on Christmas Eve when he fell down in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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The cardinal fell during the entrance procession for the Christmas Vigil when a young Italian-Swiss woman climbed over a barrier in an attempt to reach the Pope. She managed to grab his vestments, causing the Pontiff to fall.

While Benedict XVI was uninjured, Cardinal Etchegaray was taken to the hospital, where it was found that he had broken a hip and was in need of surgery.

The Pope visited the French cardinal Saturday evening, a note from the Vatican press office reported. «It was characterized by a very cordial conversation between the Pope and the Cardinal in French,» it added.

«The Pope expressed his interest and his spiritual nearness, and he was able to see in person of the good state and the post-operation recovery of Cardinal Etchegaray, whose clinical condition is optimal,» the communiqué said.

The press statement noted that the cardinal was able to walk Benedict XVI to the door, and that he will most likely be discharged from the Polyclinic sometime this week.

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