In Depth

VIDEO: Pope halts Popemobile to aid injured policewoman

Pontiff leaves motorcade to check on officer who was thrown from her horse

Pope Francis halted a procession in Chile to attend to a policewoman who had been thrown from her horse.

The pope was waving to crowds from his “popemobile” after celebrating a mass in the town of Iquique when a horse along the parade route reared, throwing its rider to the ground and forcing the vehicle to swerve.

In the video, Pope Francis can be seen leaning out to look towards the fallen rider and then halting the car and climbing out to approach the injured woman.

The pope “waited several minutes on the pavement, at times talking to the woman, until an ambulance arrived to take her away,” Reuters reports. Officials later said the officer was not seriously injured.

The papal visit to Chile has been seen as a vital to repair the Church’s image in the country, which has been severely damaged by sexual abuse allegations involving Catholic clergy.

However, the visit ended on a misstep, when the Pope appeared to doubt the claims of sex abuse victims who said a Chilean bishop appointed by the pontiff protected a priest later exposed as a predator.

Pope Francis said that, without proof, the allegations against Jose Barros - whom he appointed as a bishop in 2015 - were “calumny”, a remark that drew a furious backlash from victims and their advocates, Time reports.

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