`Pope will be assassinated within next 12 months`
Vatican City: Triggering fears of an assassination plot, a senior Vatican figure has reportedly claimed that Pope Benedict XVI would die within a year.
The Vatican has dismissed the document published on Friday by the Il Fatto Quotidiano daily as "delirious".
The confidential document dated December 30, 2011 was reportedly sent by retired Colombian cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos to the Vatican.
The report further says that Hoyos held talks with the pope in January and discussed the threats to his life.
The archbishop of Palermo Paolo Romeo mentioned about the plot during a visit to China in November, said the document.
Romeo did not give much detail except that he had heard of a plot to kill the pope "within the next 12 months". When asked on Friday, Romeo said that the words attributed to him were "absolutely without basis”.
"It is so outside of reality that it should not be given any consideration," Romeo was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as saying.
Meanwhile, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told a news agency: "It`s clear that this document contains crazy considerations that are devoid of any reality." Not denying the existence of the document, Lombardi said that its contents "should not be taken seriously at all”.
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