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24 Jan, 2019 06:39

‘Religious euphoria’? Man with Venezuelan flag charges Pope Francis’ motorcade & nearly gets hit

‘Religious euphoria’? Man with Venezuelan flag charges Pope Francis’ motorcade & nearly gets hit

One man must have thought the Venezuelan crisis needed divine intervention when he tried to charge Pope Francis’ convoy carrying the Central American country’s tricolor during the pontiff’s procession in Panama.

The Pope arrived to Panama on Wednesday – just after the country followed the US’ lead and recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. As thousands of worshipers lined up to greet the pontiff on his 30km (19-mile) journey from the airport to the Panama City, one brave soul who was proudly flying the Venezuelan flag charged Francis’ motorcade.

Video of the incident shows the individual breaking through security barriers and attempting to halt a little Toyota sedan, which was reportedly carrying the Pope. The unexpected intrusion forced the car to swerve sharply into the next lane to avoid a collision. Security took note of the incident but continued driving, the footage shows.

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Despite being detained by the security forces, the man was later released, Coordinator of the Joint Task Force Domingo Espitia told journalists at a press conference. “It was a moment of religious euphoria towards the Holy Father,” he said, without providing further details on the man or the motivation behind his actions. The rest of Pope Francis’ drive to the capital proceeded without incident.

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The pontiff will stay in Panama to celebrate the five-day World Youth Day festivities, which will be attended by around 200,000 young Catholics.

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