Man scales Vatican scaffolding in message to pope

(AP) A man has scaled the scaffolding around St. Peter’s Square and draped a banner calling on Pope Benedict XVI to “Stop Terrorism.”

The man identified himself on the banner as Julian Jungarean, a Romanian who has previously scaled the colonnade around the piazza. Witnesses say uniformed officers were speaking with him from the ground and a nearby roof.

Benedict celebrated New Year’s Day Mass earlier Tuesday in St. Peter’s Basilica and said he was convinced that peace will prevail in 2013 despite the inequality, terrorism and “unregulated financial capitalism” that afflict the world today.

He later appeared at his studio window overlooking the piazza to wish thousands of people below a Happy New Year. And he sent out yet another tweet on his personal account: “May Our Lord bless you and watch over you in the new year.” It was quickly retweeted more than 14,500 times around the world.

Jungarean’s protest didn’t appear to cause the pope any disturbance.


AP/USA Today