Attorney Christopher DiLorenzo asked a judge Wednesday to order Marc Lamparello to undergo a psychological evaluation. DiLorenzo told The Associated Press that "it is clear that Mr. Lamparello suffered from a psychotic episode, and the events leading up to and including the event at St. Patrick's Cathedral support this conclusion."
Lamparello faces charges of attempted arson and reckless endangerment. A prosecutor said Lamparello was planning to burn down the cathedral and carried gasoline cans, lighter fluid and lighters into the church.
Authorities say he booked a flight to Rome for the following day and planned to stay at a hotel 20 minutes away from the Vatican.
A prosecutor says a college philosophy teacher accused of entering St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan with gasoline cans, lighter fluid and butane lighters had also booked a hotel just 20 minutes from the Vatican.
Police said previously that Marc Lamparello had booked a flight to Rome for the next day.
Assistant District Attorney David Stuart said Wednesday that Lamparello was "planning to burn down St. Patrick's Cathedral" when he was arrested last week. The prosecutor made no further remarks about the Rome plans.
Lamparello made his initial court appearance from a hospital. The judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The New York incident happened just days after flames ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.