Pope greets faithful in basilica

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI is celebrating the last major ceremony of the Vatican’s Christmas season in St. Peter’s Basilica amid new security measures.

The main aisle was widened to give the pope and his security entourage more space as he walked toward the altar.

It was during the entrance procession on Christmas Eve that a mentally unstable woman scrambled over a barrier and yanked on Benedict’s vestments, pulling him to the ground.

Officials pushed back the barriers lining the aisle to create more space for the procession Wednesday.

Despite the new measure, a relaxed Benedict moved to the side of the aisle where faithful were eager to get close to him. He caressed babies and blessed adults.

The church was celebrating Epiphany, also known as Three Kings day.