Is There a Plot to Kill Pope Benedict? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Is There a Plot to Kill Pope Benedict?

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - Media accounts that Pope Benedict the XVI would be assassinated within the next 12 months are unfounded, the Vatican says.

Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano ran a report Friday, Feb. 10, containing excerpts from a confidential document outlining comments made by Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo in Sicily, that the Pope would die within the next year, the Telegraph reports.

The comments were spoken during the Pope's visit to China in November, and officials allegedly thought Romeo was talking about a plot to kill the Pope.

The report also stated Romero indicated Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, would become the next Pope, the Guardian reports.

The document, dated Dec. 30, 2011, was allegedly delivered to the Vatican in January to warn the Pope about what had been overheard.

The report appeared on the front page of the Italian newspaper with the headline "Plot against the Pope -- he will die within 12 months," and the story was subsequently picked up by other media outlets.

But Vatican spokesperson Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi stated the report was untrue.

"It is so beyond reality that it shouldn't be given any consideration," Lombardi told the ANSA news agency.

But the newspaper maintains the letter is authentic, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Archbishop Scola's office declined to comment on the report.

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