An assassination attempt against Pope Benedict XVI may be carried out before November 2012, Italian Il Fatto Quotidiano daily reported on Friday, citing a confidential document that was delivered to the Holy See in January by Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos.
The letter, written in German, cites Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the Archbishop of Palermo, who said during his visit to China in November 2011 that “the Pope will die” in the next 12 months, Il Fatto Quotidiano said.
It is not known who stands behind the letter, the daily said.
Father Federico Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See Press Office on Friday denounced the media report, calling it “ramblings that cannot be taken seriously.”
The previous Pope, John Paul II, survived a 1981 assassination attempt, although he was shot and gravely wounded by his attacker, Turkish national Mehmet Ali Agca.
In 2006 an Italian parliamentary commission accused former Soviet leaders and the Bulgarian secret service of being behind the assassination plot.
Ali Agca was released in 2010 from jail after almost 30 years in Italian and Turkish prisons.