Port Vila, Italy (PressExposure) July 27, 2009 -- Speeding is very much a national pastime in Italy, yet even the Italian traffic police were shocked when they had cause to flag down a Ford Fiesta doing 50kph above the speed limit. The police never dreamt the occupants would be elderly nuns.
"The news of His Holiness's injury had made us truly anxious", said one of the nuns. Three Salesian nuns, aged 65, 78 and the 56-year-old driver, were forced to sit quietly by as the traffic cop wrote out a speeding ticket. The nuns told the cops they were on a mercy dash to reach Pope Benedict's side after his accident, in which he broke his wrist. They were afraid of being late.
The police suspended the driver's license for one month and fined the nuns $650. However, the driver said, through her lawyer Anna Orecchioni, she is determined to fight the police decision. "She is planning to appeal and we think we can invoke the 'state of necessity' in the law that allows speeding".
Orecchioni is currently defending a priest who was pulled over for drink-driving. The priest alleges it was the communion wine he was compelled to swallow at four consecutive masses that pushed him over the limit.
The 82 year old pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI, slipped and lost his balance in the bath and broke his wrist during a holiday at his private chalet in the Italian Alps. The Pope had to undergo surgery.
What hurt the Pope most was that he was unable to bless with his right hand and can no longer hold his hands together in prayer, while his wrist is in plaster.
The Pope however, is in excellent company in that Hilary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, also underwent similar surgery when she slipped and broke her right elbow. The Pope though did not choose to wear any official insignia on his blue arm sling. Clinton was photographed proudly displaying an official State Department insignia on her arm sling.
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