Friday, 29 Aug 2014
By Nick Sanchez
Vatican officials denied this week that Pope Francis is a target of ISIS, but the Italian government is stepping up security across the nation as it continues to collect intelligence on the growing terrorist group.
“There is nothing serious to this,” spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi S.J. told Catholic News Agency in responding to a claim made by Italy’s Il Tempo newspaper. “There is no particular concern in the Vatican. This news has no foundation.”
Claiming the pope was under threat, the original Il Tempo report published Monday drew upon an unnamed source who said a number of Muslim jihadists had entered the country.
The source said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, considers the pope “the greatest exponent of the Christian religions” and the “bearer of false truth.” Because of this, Islamic fundamentalists led by self-proclaimed Caliph Al-Baghdadi seek to “raise the level of confrontation” by putting Pope Francis “in the crosshairs.”
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