Pope guards evict disruptive pilgrim

2011-01-26 19:34

Vatican City - Vatican guards on Wednesday evicted a pilgrim from Pope Benedict XVI's general audience after he tried to personally hand over a letter to the pontiff, an AFP photographer said.

Half way through the Pope's audience with 3 000 or so faithful, the pilgrim called out to Benedict with the letter in his hand, and tried to approach the platform where the pope was sitting, the photographer said.

The man was quickly stopped by Vatican's guards who firmly escorted him out of the auditorium, accompanied by a fellow pilgrim who left of his own accord.

Vatican spokesperson Ciro Benedettini told journalists the two men were from Malta and wanted to hand the pope an envelope with messages of devotion.

The men did not behave aggressively, he added.