Pope Francis fears: Italian police seize envelope with three bullets sent to Pontiff

Pope Francis addresses Vatican crowds prior to colon surgery

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Law enforcement were called by postal workers in the small town of Peschiera Borromeo after they incepted the envelope at the sorting office addressed to Pope Francis. Police told Reuters the envelope had been sent from France. The handwritten address on the envelope read: “The Pope, Vatican City, St Peter’s Square, Rome.”

The three bullets are presumed to be for a pistol and the envelope also contained a message alluding to financial operations at the Vatican, the police said.

An investigation is now underway, Milan-based newspaper Affaritaliani has reported.

A spokesperson for the Vatican had no immediate comment.

On Sunday, Pope Francis led prayer as normal in Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City, according to his public diary.

He is due to leave for a trip to Budapest in Hungary on Thursday, where he will depart from Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport.

The Pope will likely meet bishops from the country, as well as other Church and Jewish representatives, before making a trip to Bratislava in Slovakia.

But the latest worrying development comes following a difficult period for the Pope.

On July 27, a trial began which has seen 10 people, including a senior cardinal, indicted over allegations of mishandling of Vatican funds.

The multi-million pound scandal is centred around the purchasing of a luxury property in London.

An indictment revealed as part of the process claimed the Pope gave his personal approval for the trial against senior figures to begin, according to Reuters.

Last month, 84-year-old Pope Francis also spent 10 days in hospital after having half of his colon removed in a pre-planned surgery.

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The Pontiff has recently stepped away from his official duties after undergoing his first major medical treatment since becoming Pope in 2013.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said he had “responded well” to the treatment, which was performed under general anaesthetic.

In an earlier statement, the Vatican had said the Pope was being treated at the Gemelli University Hospital for “symptomatic diverticular stenosis” of the colon.

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