Lost in Translation: Cardinal Paolo Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo predicts Benedict’s death.
THE Pope will die within the next 12 months, a senior Vatican figure has reportedly claimed amid fears of an assassination plot.
Cardinal Romeo reportedly made the startling prediction of the Pope’s death during a trip to China in November 2011.
He seemed so sure of the fact that the people he spoke with, including Italian businessmen and Chinese representatives of the Catholic Church, were convinced that he was talking about an assassination attempt.
They were so alarmed by his remarks that they reported them back to the Vatican.
The extraordinary comments were written up in a top-secret report, dated Dec 30, 2011, and delivered to the Pope by a senior cardinal, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, a Colombian, in January.
The Vatican has reportedly opened an investigation into the claims.
The report was written in German, apparently to limit the number of people within the Vatican who would understand it if it was inadvertently leaked.
It warns of a “Mordkomplott” – death plot – against Benedict.
The story was broken on Friday by an Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano, with the headline “Plot against the Pope – he will die within 12 months”.