Pope Francis and the Catholic Church were directly threatened in a newly released video published by ISIS last Friday.
The video, entitled “The Islamic State – Inside the Caliphate,” was filmed in the Philippines and distributed by the ISIS affiliated media company al-Hayat. The video was filmed in Marawi, where the local government and ISIS have been warring over the control of the city since last May. Although government forces have slowly regained control over the city, fighting still continues and almost six hundred ISIS militants and over a hundred Philippine forces have died in combat.
The video depicts the destruction of a crucifix and a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, along with a direct threat to Pope Francis where they tore up a picture of the Supreme Pontiff. The video closes with the church ablaze with fire, an ISIS terrorist making direct threats to the Church and Rome saying
“Remember this, you kuffar (non Muslims) – we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah. (god willing)After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders’ enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.”
In response to the release of the video the Vatican Secretary of State and second highest ranking member of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, told reporters the Vatican has seen the video and recognizes that they are threatening the Church. He told reporters that although the Vatican has strong security measures in place and they won’t be adding more, the video is still troubling and that “Obviously, one cannot help but worry, above all for the senseless hatred that it is.”
The commander of the Swiss Guard, which defends and guards the Vatican, remarked that the Swiss Guard is ready and in place to defend the Vatican from any threats it may face and are prepared for attacks like the recent tragedies in Barcelona. He said that “It may be only a matter of time before such an attack takes place in Rome, but we are prepared for it.”