A year ago on February 10, 2012 the Italian daily newspaper “Il Fatto Quotidiano” published a document according to which Pope Benedict XVI was at risk of being killed.
The article provoked uproar. Euronews visited the paper’s newsroom to find out more. At the time, the Vatican was rife with rumours of scandals and plots. Leaks to the media alleged in-fighting and wrongdoing.
The report claimed a confidential document was delivered to the Vatican, saying the Archbishop of Palermo had been told by a reliable source of a serious plot to kill the Pope within 12 months.
Antonio Padellaro, Il fatto Quotidiano’s Editorial Director, told us the Vatican’s spokesman reacted angrily at first and threatened legal action for defamation, before doing an about turn.
“Father Lombardi was obliged to admit that the document did exist but said it wasn’t to be taken seriously, it was fantasy. Now we’ve seen that the contrary was true,” he said.
The plot remains unproven. For another Italian paper, the Corriere della Sera, Benedict’s departure is an indication of the crisis at the Vatican, and of the Pope’s rebellion against an institution he failed to modernise.