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

June 05, 2023

Two days after a naked man jumped on the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, OFM Conv, led a penitential rite in reparation for the act of desecration.

Vatican News reported that the man who desecrated the altar on the evening of June 1 was a Polish man with the words “Save the children of Ukraine” written on his back.

“It is the structure of sin of which John Paul II spoke that fuels war, wars,” Cardinal Gambetti, the Archpriest of the Basilica, preached on June 3. “It is also this structure of sin that provokes in a person who perhaps does not feel heard, who wants to draw attention to poverty in the world, such as the situations in which the children of Ukraine live, which pushes a person perhaps to be heard, to make an inappropriate, truly unpleasant gesture here at the Altar of the Confession, as happened the other day.”


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  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 05, 2023 11:10 PM ET USA

    One correction: the offender was a Russian national who obtained Polish passport.