Demonstration on the Dome

Happy Laetare Sunday!

Last night we changed to daylight savings time here, so since we were losing an hour of sleep I thought that I would get up even earlier this morning and head down to St. Peter’s to celebrate Holy Mass (the logic being, maybe if I am even more sleep deprived, it will be easier and quicker to adjust to the schedule change etc. – we’ll see).

As I was approaching the Basilica I noticed something strange on the dome:

You can barely make it out in this photo. Click on the photo to see a larger version of it. All the lights were on late as well – guess someone forgot to update the timers!

After Mass I got this decent zoom-shot:

Protesting the financial crisis, demanding a meeting with Italy’s President Napolitano and asking for Pope Francis’ help with it, all “for the love of God”. Not sure that he was fulfilling his Sunday obligation of loving and worshiping God up there, though!

Before I went through security this morning a Sister was chatting with me about this guy up there. Then she asked one of the guards about him. They spoke very nonchalantly about the whole thing, as if it were not a very big deal – just another day in the Vatican!

He was up there all night. And, it turns out: this is the fourth time in less than two years that he has pulled this stunt! I have seen it one other time.

How he managed to get up there so many times is one of the mysteries of life – or at least of Italy. First of all, the security folks should be trained to spot him by now. Second, even if he isn’t caught at the security checkpoint, he still has to climb over that very high fence once he gets up to the top of the dome, to be able then to scale down the side and position himself; surely someone could make it over there and pull him off the fence before he gets up and over! There’s usually quite a few people up there! It boggles the mind…

Anyway, apparently this time he hurt one of his calves in the process of climbing over. So who knows: by the end of the day we could have a helicopter rescue. One can hope for such excitement! In any case, say a prayer for him.

Happy Sunday – more to come a little later about this Laetare Sunday!

Photos by Fr. Bryan Jerabek – March 30, 2014

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