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The row centres on a prayer room available to staff and visitors of all faiths at the hospital, which contains a Virgin Mary statue and a crucifix.
Mr Protano, a Roman Catholic who has worked two years at the hospital, entered the room when three Muslims were using it - two patients and a doctor.
An argument broke out after he asked them to remove a cloth covering the crucifix and statue and to turn a picture of the Virgin Mary face up.
He said he was unable to comment on his sacking as the police probe and his plans to appeal were ongoing.