Air Riffle Incident Fails to Derail Papal Mass

ERFURT, Germany, SEPT. 24, 2011 ( A shooting incident in Erfurt ahead of a Mass to be celebrated by Benedict XVI failed to affect the Pope’s schedule.

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According to Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, a man with an air riffle shot at least three bullets in downtown Erfurt, just outside the security zone set up for the papal Mass. A security guard was injured.

The spokesman said police have the shooter in custody, and that Benedict XVI was informed of what had happened after the Mass.

«No one in the papal entourage was aware of what had happened,» he added. «The trip continued according to plan.

«It was a very marginal event, which took place before the Mass, outside the square, far away, and it wasn’t serious, not even for the person who was hurt.»

The Holy Father is in Germany through Sunday.

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