Oct 232011

Click on image to watch YouTube video on bible burning protestor

by Anura Guruge

I knew that there was to be a length canonization service this morning, in St. Peter’s Square, to induct three new Saints, all three of them, viz. Italian bishop Guido Maria Conforti, Spanish nun Sister Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro and an Italian priest Luigi Guanella, having founded religious orders during the 19th century.

I will readily confess, given what transpired last Sunday, and the current ‘buzz’ about the pope’s health, my primary interest was to see what kind of wheels the pope would be using today — given that I am anxious to see the pope on a Segway (though I do not think that this alone would signal a segue). What I was greeted was news of an English speaking protestor, atop the Bernini collonnade, more or less underneath the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace, burning a bible (as an agitated bishop watched) and hurling it down on the crowds below. It was certainly dramatic and again raised questions as to the efficacy of Vatican security (though I do subscribe to the notion that the pope’s best bodyguard doesn’t rely on firearms, and as far as I know wear an earpiece or fancy dark shades).

The pope, certainly looking tired, was on a different motorized, open, moving platform (than the one used inside St. Peter’s last week) — this one resembling a chopped-off version of the moving stairs used with aircraft when there is no jet-bridge at hand. Here is another article and video from USA Today.

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