Vatican City: Dozens of anti-capitalist "Indignant" protestors demonstrated on Sunday in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, shouting "freedom," "corrupt Church," and "criminal pope."
The demonstrators from various countries including Spain and France gathered below Pope Benedict XVI's Vatican apartment, with one protestor briefly climbing up a giant Christmas tree still dominating the square after the year-end festivities.
Protestors shouted that "the Vatican must pay taxes like everyone else," referring to tax exemptions enjoyed by the Holy See for property located outside the Vatican territory.
Three of the protesters were briefly detained.
The "Indignant" protest movement, which began in Spain, may grow in Italy amid the public debt crisis that has forced the government to adopt austerity measures.
Sunday's demonstration took place just hours after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti discussed the crisis with Pope Benedict.