September 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

St. Peter’s Basilica cleaned up after being desecrated by a naked man

On Saturday, a special purification ceremony was held at the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. The reason was the appearance inside the church of a naked man protesting against the war in Ukraine.

The incident occurred on Thursday evening – a man stripped naked and climbed onto the main altar of the temple in protest against military operations in Ukraine, reported edition of Il Messaggero, citing a source in the Vatican. At what he did it with lightning speed. Shocked visitors captured the scene on their mobile phones and shared it on social media.

On the back of the man was an inscription calling to save the children of Ukraine, writes Reuters, and cuts from nails were present on the body. According to the source of the publication, the protection of the Vatican handed over the man, whose identity has not been established, to the Italian police for interrogation and identification.

The man said that he was suffering because of the children who were killed by Russian bombs in Ukraine. As it became known to the publication, the author of this ambiguous gesture suffered from severe depression, to the point that he inflicted micro-wounds on himself with his nails.

This is not the first time this has happened in St. Peter’s Basilica. An image of a man walking among tourists with a backpack on his shoulders, completely naked, circled the world in 2016. He was then also seized and handed over to the gendarmerie. He found himself homeless with mental disorders and was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the Santo Spirito Hospital.

On Saturday June 4, a cleansing ceremony took place at the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica after it had been “desecrated”. The service, as required by canon law, was performed by the archpriest of the basilica, Cardinal Mauro Gabetti, tells CNN Greece. During the ceremony, the altar used by Pope Francis was sprinkled with holy water.

Gabetti said that the man did a sinful and “inappropriate, truly sad act” to draw attention to the victims of the war. The identity of the man, a Polish citizen, has not been released, but photos posted on social media suggest he is in his 30s. It is reported that a decision has been made on his departation.

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