Israel Security Agency Expresses Concern About Assassination Plot Against Pope Benedict

As Pope Benedict’s long-awaited visit to Israel nears, a new worry has emerged in the Israeli press about what some security experts fear will be an attack on the Holy Father during his stop in Nazareth.

The Pope will be in Bethlehem and Nazareth on May 13, the date which marks two important anniversaries in the Catholic Church: First, the 92nd anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, on May 13, 1917; and second, May 13, 1981, the date on which Muslim hitman Mehmet Ali Agca attempted to assasinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square.

In 2000, I co-hosted the EWTN coverage of Pope John Paul II’s Holy Land visit. I recall our being very alert to the possibiliy of an attack on the pope during that trip — keep in mind that this was pre-9/11 — and many were praying especially for his safe travel. Thank the Lord, nothing terrible happened.   

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz posted an eyebrow raising article on its website yesterday, saying:  

The Shin Bet security service does not want Pope Benedict XVI to use his so-called pope mobile in Nazareth next month, saying it may not be enough against any attack by radical Islamic groups. Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov will discuss the issue at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

The Holy See told the Israeli government that the pope wants to get as close as possible to his followers, so the Vatican hopes the pope will use the vehicle.

But the Shin Bet opposes this, citing pamphlets in Arab towns in the north calling for demonstrations during the visit. Other pamphlets by radical Islamists allegedly call for physical attacks on the pope. (read article)


  1. Child of God

    St. John BoscoSuddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up, but struck a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy, and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope’s death coincides with that of his successor’s election. The enemy’s self-assurance wanes. Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host, and then the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other.

  2. Milites Domini

    Let us pray for our Holy Father’s safety during this trip! GOD BLESS HIM AND OUR HOLY MOTHER PROTECT HER SON, OUR SOVEREIGN PONTIFF.

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