A senior Vatican figure was too candid during a 2011 trip to China, talking about an assassination plot against Pope Benedict XVI and other Vatican affairs, sparking an investigation.
The shocking prediction was made by Cardinal Romeo, the archbishop of Palermo in Sicily, according to The Telegraph. He talked about his prediction at 2011 trip to China.
Romeo, reportedly, spoke about his prediction to Italian businessmen and Chinese representatives of the Catholic Church.
Romeo also named Pope Benedict's XVI successor as Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan. He went on to tell his colleagues that Pope Benedict could not stand Tarcisio Bertone, his Secretary of State and the Vatican's second most senior figure.
He reported that a bitter power struggle was going on between the two and also criticized the Pope for only focusing on the liturgy and neglecting daily affairs. Those who heard the comments became so alarmed that they reported his remarks back to the Vatican. The Vatican has opened an investigation into the claims and put Romeo's comments in a top-secret report.
The report was written in German and named Mordkoplott, which is German for "Plot of Death."
The confidential report fell into the hands of the Italian newspaper, II Fatto Quotidiano, who published excerpts from the report.
"During his talks in China, Cardinal Romeo predicted the death of Benedict XVI within 12 months. His remarks were expressed with such certainty and resolution that the people he was speaking to thought, with a sense of alarm, that an attack on the Pope's life was being planned," reported the Italian newspaper. "Cardinal Romeo could never have imagined that the indiscreet remarks he made on the trip to China would be communicated back to the Vatican by third parties."
According to the report, Romeo had gotten his information from a well-informed source. Since the report went public, Vatican officials acknowledged the report, but refuse to comment on it. Instead they are condemning it as too outrageous to comment on, according to the Telegraph.
When Romeo was asked if the reported comments were made by him, he said, "absolutely without basis."
"It is so outside of reality that it should not be given any consideration," Romeo told the Italian news agency ANSA.
Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, agreed that the comments were too incredible to comment on.
"It seems to me something that is so far from reality that I don't even want to address it," Father Lombardi said. "It seems an incredible story and I don't want to comment."