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Vatican Employees Hold Silent Protest March

May 29, 1990

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ More than 500 Vatican employees held a silent march Monday night to protest an impasse in negotiations over higher wages and other labor demands, the employees’ association said.

The Association of Vatican Lay Employees said in a statement that the protest was intended to point out the lack of response to its request for meetings with high-ranking Vatican officials.

″This demonstration was aimed especially at obtaining an audience with the Holy Father,″ said the association’s president, Mariano Cerullo.

He said the association was sure that if such a meeting could be arranged, the problems could be worked out.

The workers complained they had not received sufficient cost-of-living increases since 1985, that pensions were too low and that there was no clear procedure through which they could express demands.

The 45-minute march went from the workers’ cafeteria through Vatican grounds to the San Damaso courtyard on the northern side of St. Peter’s Square, the association said.

Cerullo said 1,400 of the approximately 1,900 Vatican lay employees belonged to the association.

In February 1988, hundreds of Vatican employees took part in a labor protest in which they donated part of their salaries to the pope to call attention to their demands.

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