Vatican takes climate activists to court on Laudato Si' anniversary

(Photo: Unsplash/Fabio Fistarol)

Climate change activists faced trial at the Vatican on Wednesday on vandalism charges for gluing themselves to the statue of "Laocoön and His Sons" in the Vatican Museums last summer.

The trial of Ester Goffi, a 25-year-old art history student, and Guido Viero, a 61-year-old health worker, took place on the eighth anniversary of "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis' encyclical promoting the care of creation and the environment.

The activists belong to a group called Ultima Generazione, which translates to "Last Generation" in English and brings together many young people throughout Italy to raise awareness about climate change through public gestures and social media.

Last Generation activists specifically target artistic sites such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

"Today is a special day because it's the anniversary of the publication of the encyclical 'Laudato Si',' the wake-up call issued by the Holy Father regarding the condition of the environment and the planet," Tommaso Juhasz, 30, a member of the Last Generation, told Religion News Service in an interview. "Let's hope this coincidence will be beneficial for whatever will take place in that tribunal."

© Religion News Service