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St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican CitySteve Jalsevac / LifeSiteNews

UPDATE May 19, 2023: The man arrested by the Vatican guards, after driving through the St. Anne’s gate last night, has now been moved to the psychiatric ward of the Santo Spirito in Sassia Hospital for mandatory medical treatment, the Vatican has announced.

The Holy See Press Office stated: “this afternoon, at the end of the interrogation by the magistrate in the presence of his attorney, and having ascertained his condition, the driver of the motor vehicle that illegally entered the Vatican last night was taken to the psychiatric ward of the Santo Spirito in Sassia Hospital for mandatory medical treatment.

The man has now been named as 40-year-old Simone Baldovino, who has a history of drug abuse. Ansa news agency reported that Baldovino had already tried to enter the Vatican City State twice yesterday, both times being unsuccessful.

Citing  high-level sources, Ansa wrote that Baldovino wished to speak to Pope Francis.

Baldovino, even though he got past the two guard posts, was unable to go any further than the San Damasso courtyard, as security alerts had ensured that his access to the Pope’s current residence was closed off.

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — A man is being held in custody after driving his car at speed through one of the Vatican gates Thursday night, and being shot at by the guards. 

Around 8 p.m. local time on May 18, a man in his 40’s drove at high speed through the Vatican gate of St. Anne’s situated to the north of St. Peter’s Square.

In a statement issued by the Holy See Press Office around 10:30 p.m., it was revealed that the intruder first attempted to enter Vatican City with his car but was prevented by the Swiss Guards. The Swiss Guards maintain a permanent guard at the gate.

When the Guards informed him that he did not have the necessary permit to enter the gate,  he reversed and then “re-entered at high speed, forcing the two control gates, of the Swiss Guard and the Gendarmerie Corps of the Vatican City State.”

Having seen the man drive past the Swiss Guards, “the Gendarmerie inspector guarding the gateway fired a gunshot in the direction of the vehicle’s front tires. Despite hitting the vehicle on the left front fender, the car continued on its way,” the Holy See’s Press Office reported.

The car managed to reach the internal San Damaso Courtyard within the Vatican City State. This is where visiting heads of state are received and events like the annual swearing in of the new Swiss Guards take place.

WATCH: Liz Yore urges the faithful to defend the Church from evil ‘as if it was our children’

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The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) has described assisted suicide as sometimes being the “greatest common good concretely possible” contrary to the Catholic Church's strenuous condemnation of the practice.

This betrayal of the Catholic faith by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is not for the first time, with the PAV repeatedly causing scandal under his watch by:

  • recently appointing a notorious pro-abortion atheist to the organization
  • claiming contraception and artificial insemination are sometimes acceptable
  • insisting that priests could accompany people through assisted-suicide, and
  • that Italy's pro-abortion law is a “pillar” of the country's social life.

SIGN: Pope Francis must remove Abp. Paglia from the Pontifical Academy for Life

“Personally, I would not practice suicide assistance,” Archbishop Paglia told an Italian journalism conference last week, “but I understand that legal mediation may be the greatest common good concretely possible under the conditions we find ourselves in.”

Accepting an anti-life Italian court ruling that specified when assisted-suicide is permitted, the archbishop claimed “it is not to be ruled out that in our society a legal mediation is feasible that would allow assistance to suicide under the conditions specified by Constitutional Court Sentence 242/2019...”

From the outset of his presentation in Perugia, Paglia also undermined the authority of the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals, stating: “First of all, I would like to clarify that the Catholic Church is not that it has a ready-made, prepackaged package of truths, as if it were a dispenser of truth pills.” 

SIGN: Abp. Paglia must be removed from the Pontifical Academy for Life

The PAV issued a statement on Monday trying to clarify the archbishop's remarks, insisting that Paglia “reiterates his ‘no’ towards euthanasia and assisted suicide, in full adherence to the Magisterium”.

However, far from denouncing Paglia’s words, the PAV unsurprisingly supported its president. Referencing the Italian court ruling which partially decriminalized euthanasia by outlining exceptions to its illegality, the PAV stated it was in the context of this ruling that Paglia had made his comments.

In this precise and specific context, Msgr. Paglia explained that in his opinion a ‘legal mediation’ (certainly not a moral one) in the direction indicated by the Sentence is possible, maintaining the crime and the conditions under which it is decriminalized, as the same Constitutional Court has asked Parliament to legislate. 

The PAV’s fudging of the issue was met with consternation from several Catholic commentators, with liturgist Matthew Hazell, who had highlighted Paglia’s original comments, asking “How hard is it for the @PontAcadLife to just say ‘sorry’ for scandalising the faithful? Indeed, how hard is it to actually adhere to the teaching of the Church on life issues? Are you so incapable of reading the signs of the times & interpreting them in the light of the Gospel?”

SIGN: Abp. Paglia's presidency of the Pontifical Academy for Life is untenable

It's vital that the Church and PAV push back against the culture of death, rather than trying to accommodate it and accept a world that where the vulnerable are helped to kill themselves.

Be part of pushing back against the tide and making it clear that there is no room for confusion or betrayal when it comes to the sanctity of human life and the infallibilty of Catholic teaching on the matter. 



Abp. Paglia defends assisted-suicide as 'greatest common good possible' for dying people - LifeSiteNews

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The press office stated that, once there, the intruder “got out independently and was stopped and placed under arrest by the Gendarmerie Corps.”

He did not manage to get behind St. Peter’s Basilica, nor did he approach the hotel where Pope Francis lives on the south side of the Vatican.

The man was reportedly “immediately examined by doctors from the Directorate of Health and Hygiene of the Vatican City State, who found that he was severely psychophysically impaired.”

As of last night, he is remaining in custody in a cell at the Vatican’s “Gendarmerie Barracks, at the disposal of the Judicial Authority.” No further information has been given by the Holy See Press Office regarding the situation, and no-one has reported being injured from the event.

READ: Why bishops are to blame for empty Catholic churches across Australia