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Penitential rite held at St. Peter’s for desecration of Altar of Confession

Cardinal Mauro Gambetti celebrates a penitential rite in St. Peter’s Basilica following an incident on Thursday evening in which a Polish-born man stripped naked and climbed atop the Altar of the Confession with the words “Save children of Ukraina” written on his back in English.

By Vatican News

Following the events of Thursday evening, the Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, conducts a penitential liturgy on Saturday morning at noon at the Altar of the Confession.

He is to be joined by the canons of the Chapter of the Papal Basilica of St. Peter’sand several members of the faithful.

On Thursday, as the Basilica was about to close, a man of Polish nationality approached the high altar, quickly undressed, and jumped upon the marble altar.

He had the words “Save children of Ukraina” written on his back in marker.

As officers of the Vatican Gendarmerie approached, the man did not resist but cooperated as they led him to the police station inside the Vatican.

After ascertaining his identity, the man was handed over to the Italian police, according to the Italy-Holy See Treaty, and was issued an expulsion order and instructed to leave Italian territory.

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