London: Flatly refusing to wear a bullet-proof vest during his mega Christmas address despite the horrific threats emanating from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Pope Francis has said that he is ‘not afraid’ of the terrorist organisation who have threatened to invade Rome.
In an exclusive interview to Express.co.uk, the Pope’s spokesman said that the pontiff was ‘aware’ of the threats but if did not shake him, nor did he want an alterations made to his ‘Popemobile’ to protect himself during this year’s Christmas Day message.
Continuing to display his relaxed style of leadership, the pontiff has refused to listen to the advice by the police to beef up his security in the wake of threats made to Rome but the Vatican maintains that they are still on top of the Pope’s security.
Father Ciro Benedettini told the leading daily that church was well aware of the threats and the chilling videos being circulated by the ISIS.
There is no specific threat apart from those coming from the IS or Daesh on the web. There are some pictures of the black flag [of ISIS] on St Peter’s. It could be a real threat, maybe it is something just to show how powerful they are and that is really easy to do a post like that,” Father Benedettini said.
Justifying the Pope’s lack of inclination towards wearing a bullet proof vest, he added that the pontiff’s stand was understandable as it would be ‘ridiculous’ to wear one on the altar.
“It is understandable obviously that the police and the gendarmerie would like the Pope to be more protected, but that is something that can’t be changed. He is not afraid – you have seen that he has gone to Africa, he went to the Central African Republic which everybody asked him to avoid. He knows everything [about the alleged threat] obviously but he is not very concerned,” he added.
According to the latest ISIS video, computer-generated tanks can be seen advancing on a crumbling Colosseum, with a ravaged Vatican City in the background and the narrator promising a final battle between “believers” and “crusaders”. (ANI)