VATICAN CITY – The Vatican says it will put on trial an Italian entrepreneur who has scaled St. Peter's Basilica five times to protest Italian government reforms.
Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, on Sunday said that Marcello di Finizio will face trial starting Feb. 7 on charges including defaming and defacing a place of worship and resisting public security.
The Vatican declined to prosecute di Finizio on the previous four occasions that he climbed St. Peter's Dome, but citied his recidivism in deciding to pursue charges following the most recent protest on a perch over the basilica's main entrance before Christmas.
Di Finizio, who says he is losing his beach concession business in the northern city of Trieste because of government reforms, is free pending trial.