Vatican Protester Cools His Heels in Jail Cell

The Italian business owner who scaled the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica this week has finally come down, after spending two nights perched precariously atop the basilica, only to spend last night in a jail cell.

Marcello Di Finizio was protesting policies of the European Union which may result in closure of his sea-side restaurant in the northeastern Italy town of Trieste.  This was the fourth time he had climbed the 138 meters (453 feet) to the top of the Dome:  Di Finizio had staged similar demonstrations before on July 30 and October 2, 2012, and on May 20 of last year.

The man was finally coaxed down by MPs from the 5-Star Movement, which opposes economic policies including the widespread use of the euro.  He came down to talk with them about his complaints, but he was arrested soon after touching the ground.

Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said that Di Finizio will be investigated by Vatican prosecutors, who are not likely to look kindly upon the repeat offender.

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Taking one’s personal gripes to St. Peter’s is not a particularly unique idea.  Last year I wrote about Romanian-born activist Julian Jungarean, who interrupted the Pope’s New Year’s Mass to protest, demanding that the Pope stop terrorism.  The same guy had once climbed Bernini’s colonnade.


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