Armed priest arrested as he tried to enter the Vatican for Pope Francis’ Regina Caeli

Pope Francis Regina Caeli Pilgrims gather in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for Pope Francis’ Regina Caeli prayer and address on Sunday, May 5, 2024. | Credit: Vatican Media

A priest armed with several weapons and dressed in a cassock tried to enter St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican to participate in the Regina Caeli prayer with Pope Francis on Sunday, May 5.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the priest, who is from the Czech Republic, tried to pass through the metal detector carrying an air pistol, two knives, a cutter, and a screwdriver.

After being arrested, the priest was reported to the authorities for illegal possession of weapons. When questioned, the priest said he carried the weapons for personal defense.

According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the priest is 59-year-old Father Milan Palkovic.

According to Europa Press, the weapons were in a bag that belonged to another man, a 60-year-old Czech who accompanied the priest and who was also detained.

Neither has a criminal record and both came to Rome on a pilgrimage from the Czech Republic.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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