A usually staid weekly Papal audience has been spiced up this week with an acrobatic performance by a troupe of topless men.
The four performers dressed in white suits walked across the stage towards the Papal throne and surprised the Pope by whipping off their shirts before beginning an acrobatic performance.
The Pope looked on as the men hoisted each other into the air, one on top of the other, three high.
Nuns in the audience cheered enthusiastically while the Pope gave a more measured response.
The bare-chested men then made their way past the Swiss guards to sit in the audience as the Pope continued with his more serious reflections.
The performers were part of a group known as the Fratelli Pellegrini and are in Rome to take part in a worldwide convention of pastoral care for circus and fair people.