Vatican bodyguards subdued a 27-year-old German man who jumped over a protective barricade and tried to get on Pope Benedict's open-topped jeep. Sabina Castelfranco reports from Rome the man was questioned by Vatican officers and taken to a psychiatric institution.
Pope Benedict XVI was holding his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square and was riding in his open-topped jeep waving at the crowd when a young man jumped a protective barrier and tried to get on his car.
The 27-year-old man from the Pope's native Germany took bodyguards by surprise. He came within a meter of the pope before Vatican security officers wrestled him to the ground and took him away for questioning.
The incident in the square, packed with 40,000 pilgrims, brought back memories of Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca, who wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981.
The Vatican described the man, whose name has not been released, as showing "clear signs of mental imbalance". After being questioned by Vatican police, he was taken to a psychiatric institution for treatment.
A Vatican spokesman said the man did not intend to hurt the pope and only wanted to draw attention to himself. The spokesman added that the man was not armed.
Following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States, security at the Vatican was tightened. Tourists and pilgrims entering Saint Peter's Square now go through metal detectors and their bags are checked by Italian police.
Pope Benedict did not appear to notice anything unusual as he traveled in his popemobile, and he continued to hold his audience as if nothing had happened.
In his address, the pope asked world leaders attending the G8 Summit in Germany to boost development aid.
The Pope urged leaders of the world's wealthier nations not to retreat from promises to substantially increase development aid for the most needy populations, especially those on the African continent.
The Pope said it is important that the world's rich nations do not lose sight of so-called millennium goals. The U.N. goals, set in 2000, include reducing poverty, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, and providing universal primary education by 2015.