Pope Francis has a visit to the United States planned for later this month, but the security of this visit may have already been threatened.
As many may be aware, Pope Francis enjoys getting up close and personal with the crowds when he makes appearances. Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security, stated that the committee is closely monitoring potential threats to the pope during this visit, as reported by Fox News. McCaul also stated that one such threat to the pope has been averted. However People magazine reported that neither the Secret Service nor Homeland Security had any comment concerning an averted threat to the pope during this visit. People did say however that an “intelligence source” confirmed some “chatter” concerning the visit by Pope Francis.
The pope is scheduled to visit Washington D.C. for several days, as well as a trip to New York and to Philadelphia. Pope Francis will be visiting the White House and President Obama and will also be speaking in front of a joint session of the House and Senate. While in New York, Pope Francis is set to speak to the United Nations as well as participating in a parade and saying a special Mass at Madison Square Garden.
Pope Francis has been a fairly outspoken pope as compared to his predecessors, making comments asking Catholics to be more accepting of homosexuals and most recently asking Catholics to house Syrian refugees as reported in a previous Inquisitr article. These sort of controversial statements have many here concerned for the safety of the pope during his visit to the United States. McCaul said of Pope Francis that, “He is a very passionate man. He likes to get out with the people. And with that comes a large security risk.” He also acknowledged that potential threats by ISIS sympathizers and a possible “lone wolf” attack are also a concern regarding the visit by the pope.
While many of the statements made by Pope Francis have been called controversial, he has also been a very charismatic pope and has been met with a good reception by many Catholics. Many have put forward the idea that this pope is exactly what the Catholic Church is in need of to reinvigorate the church. The ideas and approach of this pope are certainly different and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say during his visit to the United States.
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