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Man shoots guard with air gun at Pope’s mass in Germany

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Pope Benedict XVI is in Germany and had met with victims of clerical sexual abuse during his trip and was celebrating a mass Saturday morning when a strange shooting happened.

The mass went one without a hitch. The entire incident took place quite a distance from where the Pope was conducting the mass and he was completely unaware of the incident. However, a man reportedly fired an air gun at a guard several times before he was grabbed and taken into custody.

According to media reports, the man pulled out the air gun and fired at the guard near the fringes of the crowd of 30,000 who had gathered to see the mass. The entire incident happened about an hour before the service began.

The guard was not injured or hurt. The entire incident was not considered a concern by anyone within the security detail assigned to the point. In fact, the Pope was not even informed of the incident before the service began.

Right now, the Pope is visiting Germany during a particularly stressful time among Catholics in the country. Anger over scandals involving sexual abuse by clerical staff throughout the country, among other issues, is causing the country to lose members are record levels.

During a meeting with victims of clerical abuse on Friday night the Pope attempted to assuage some of those fears and concerns. He met with two women and thee men who suffered abuse at the hands of clergy.

There are many within Germany who accuse Pope Benedict of being part of a larger conspiracy to cover up the extent of abuses by clergy throughout the country. Among the thousands who have lined the streets to view the Pope as he was driven around the city there have been many who have protested his visit. Many accused the Pope of extending an empty gesture in meeting with victims on Friday night.

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