Vatican No. 2: Anti-pope jihadist attack threat is worrying

August 26, 2017
Pope Francis talks with bishops during an audience he held for participants at the 68th national Liturgical Week, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis’ top aide says a pro-Islamic State group video that targets the pope is worrying but notes Vatican security is already at a high level.

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s No. 2 official, told reporters Saturday that a day earlier he had seen the video, which indicates the pope is a target. Recently, another video, transmitted on the pro-IS Telegram channel, suggested that Italy is the next target of an extremist attack.

Parolin said: “Obviously, one cannot help but worry, above all for the senseless hatred that it is.” But he said the Vatican hasn’t added more measures to its already high security.

The Vatican, headquarters of the Catholic church, and Italy have been indicated previously as possible targets of Islamist extremism.