Italian police arrested a man who had scaled the scaffolding around Saint Peter's Square and draped a banner calling on Pope Benedict XVI to "Stop Terrorism."
The man identified himself on the banner as Julian Jugarean, a Romanian who
has previously scaled the colonnade around the piazza. Witnesses said uniformed officers were speaking with him from the ground and a nearby roof.
Pope Benedict meanwhile celebrated New Year's Day Mass earlier on Tuesday in St. Peter's Basilica and said he was convinced that peace will prevail in 2013 despite the inequality, militancy and "unregulated financial capitalism" that afflict the world today.
He later appeared at his studio window overlooking the piazza to wish thousands of people below a Happy New Year. Jugarean's protest didn't appear to cause the pope any disturbance.