Friday, 29 Aug 2014 07:32 AM
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."
The source did not say if the threat was a reaction to Pope Francis' admission earlier this month that "it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor," referring to U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq. At the time, the pope was rigorous with his comments, saying "I underscore the verb 'stop.' I don't say 'to bomb' or 'make war,' [but] 'stop.'"
While the Vatican says it remains unalarmed, several Italian news agencies said the government was nonetheless tightening security across the country.
The Daily Beast reported that deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico is concerned about "sensitive targets" including the Vatican, embassies to both Italy and the Holy See, Catholic churches, transportation hubs, as well as historic landmarks like the Coliseum.
"ISIS poses an international and European security threat and we in Italy feel particularly exposed," Bubbico told Italian reporters at Sky News.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that at least 50 Italians are known to be fighting with ISIS, most of them under the age of 25. Jihadi recruiter Imam Bilal Bosnic is said to have recruited many if not most of the fighters from Italy's northern regions.
Bosnic told La Repubblica in an interview published Thursday that James Foley, the American journalist publicly beheaded by ISIS, "was a spy" and called the killing "justified."
He also confirmed that the Vatican was a target.
"We Muslims believe that one day the whole world will be an Islamic state. Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim. Maybe I will not be able to see it, but that time will come," he said.
Bosnic was investigated last year by Italian counterterrorism officials, and now resides in Bosnia.
Italy has recently waded into the ISIS conflict in Iraq, with parliament recently approving a measure to ship weapons to the country's Kurdish population. Kurdish peshmerga troops have also been assisted by the U.S. as they've fought back against encroaching ISIS fighters.
Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.Newsmax.com/TheWire/pope-francis-isis-threat-denied/2014/08/29/id/591572/#ixzz3BnGXHMTq
Is anyone seriously surprised by ANY of this?
The pope must consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the world will see a period of peace. Continue to ignore this command and the coming disasters will exceed our worst nightmares.
I think what we need to do is post "no guns/bombs allowed" on the perimeter of the Vatican. That way, see, the bad guys and the psychopaths (who can read anyway) will refrain from bringing weapons to a place that they know is utterly devoid of firearms. It's sort of the old 'stop in the name of the law' thing that always worked, right?
Or the Italian Caribineri will double the watch at all entrances to the Vatican, the Vatican Police will bring their rifles to their guard boxes, and the Swiss Guard will post snipers in addition to their standard issue (but discretely packed) firearms.
There's more to the brightly colored uniforms than a sword or Halberd - they've all got pistols too.
Funny that.... the Vatican is ringed with men packing heat (concealed for the most part) and it's a peaceful place.
huh. how about that.
Almost as though...si vis pacem...
Time to break out the 'SMITE'.
Such a peaceful religion...
I would like to ask all those who are inclined to join in a Rosary Crusade on Sunday, September 14 at 3PM EST. We will pray for persecuted Christians throughout the world and especially in the Middle East and we will also pray for those held hostage by ISIS and other violent groups. We will appeal to Our Lady Queen of Peace and Mother of Captives. Priests are asked to consider holding a Holy Hour in their parishes at this time so that the faithful can pray for these intentions in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. If this is not possible, simply pray the Rosary at the designated time in solidarity with other Catholics. Thank you and God bless.
Perhaps we just need to dialogue with them more. Maybe they are misunderstood and hurt and are beheading people because they are feeling marginalised. I am sure a nice cup of mint tea with sugar and an explanation that we wish to walk with them where they are and have no wish to talk them out of beheading us will help a lot. My, I am feeling better already.
"We Muslims believe that one day the whole world will be an Islamic state. Our goal is to make sure that even the Vatican will be Muslim. Maybe I will not be able to see it, but that time will come," he said."
This is an extremely bold statement, one we should take very seriously. Perhaps it is out of the mouth of an "extremist" but all evidence shows a comparatively small number of these extremists can wreck havoc on an entire country. Considering the enigmatic nature of the book of Revelation, one wonders if St. John was not foretelling this anti-Christ movement.
Honestly, I believe prayer is our only hope and answer, because our individual power to change any of this is nil. I believe messages from Our Lady of Fatima, especially the third message regarding seeing the Pope killed amid the corpses of priests is a possibility God will allow if we don't pray. Threats like the one above make it clear they are not just speaking hyperbole.
In 1916 Russia was one of the most Christian countries in the world. By 1926 it was an atheist regime bent on world domination through bloody revolution or conquest.
Yes, the faith survived 70 years of state-run atheistic materialism and Orthodox churches are once again filling with believers...at a great price.
I believe Islam is brittle - as brittle as Communism but not any less dangerous. It will destroy many countries and untold millions of people. But in the end, Jesus will come and save us.
Yes, we may fight a time or two, but it is not chiefly by force of arms or strategy that will produce the victory. The best we do by our own means is protect the innocent and slow down or mitigate the harm. It's the Lords work to actually change hearts and minds.
Yes, we must wage spiritual warfare before kinetic warfare. As the battle of Lepanto proves, we must pray the Rosary and go to confession and seek holiness simultaneously to marshaling our military forces in defense of civilization.
Because if we do not, then our militarism runs the risk of creating the very monsters we seek to destroy.
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