Italian Priest Uses Inflatable Mattress as Altar During Mass in Sea

A priest who celebrated mass in the sea using an inflatable mattress as an altar has been placed under investigation by Italian authorities.

Father Mattia Bernasconi, 36, from the archdiocese of Milan, said he had planned to hold Sunday’s ceremony among the trees by the beach in Crotone, southern Italy, after he had been helping with a week-long summer camp for high school students organised by Libera, an anti-mafia organisation.

However, having failed to find shade from the searing heat, Bernasconi said a nearby family offered the use of the inflatable mattress and the priest took to the water, conducting the service with everyone – himself included – in swimsuits.

After photos went viral this week, the local Catholic archdiocese called for “liturgical decorum and respect”.

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