Sainthood ceremony disrupted by protester burning the bible in front of Pope
Published 24/10/2011 | 07:43
THE beatification of three saints in St Peter’s Square were disrupted yesterday by a man shouting at the pope and burning the bible.
Vatican gendarmes, a bishop and the pope's own bodyguard talked the man back from the edge of the colonnade after he shouted, "Pope, where is Christ?" in English and threw the burned bible to the crowd below.
Benedict and the thousands in the square appeared unfazed by the incident and carried on with the Mass.
The disruption came toward the end of the two-hour service Sunday to canonise three 19th-century founders of religious orders: Italian bishop and missionary Monsignor Guido Maria Conforti, Spanish nun Sister Bonifacia Rodriguez de Castro and an Italian priest who worked with the poor, the Rev. Luigi Guanella.
On hand in the crowd was William Glisson Jr., from the Philadelphia area in the U.S., whose cure from a 2002 head injury was declared the miracle needed to canonise Guanella.
Glisson, then 21, had gone into a coma after falling while in-line skating without a helmet; he had two brain surgeries but his doctors didn't give him much hope, according to Guanella's biography. A friend of the family who worked at a Guanella centre for the handicapped gave Glisson and his mother two of Guanella's relics, and the family prayed fervently to the Italian priest.
After nine days, Glisson came out of the coma and today works in the family construction supply business.