Vatican distances Pope from views of baptized Muslim

One day after Vatican baptism, Muslim-born and Catholic-convert journalist Magdi Allam wrote that Islam is physiologically violent and historically confliction. In the midst of talks with Muslim leaders and intellectuals, the Vatican has come under fire for allowing a Muslim to be baptized in such a public way. The Vatican newspaper stressed however, that this inter-religious dialogue is of extreme importance and that Allam’s baptism was a papal gesture aimed at stressing religious freedom, and that no hostile intentions were meant towards Islam. Reverend Federico Lombardi said that Allam has the right to express his own ideas.

Italy takes al Qaeda’s Pope threat seriously

Security officials in Italy are treating Osama’ bin Laden’s new accusations against Pope Benedict very seriously. An interior minister spokesperson said that security and anti-terrorism officials plan to meet and examine the taped message, in which the Al Qaeda leader said that offending cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were part of a new crusade involving the Pope. The accusations are absolutely unfounded said the pope’s chief spokesperson, Reverend Federico Lombardi. While Bin Laden did not specify any action or target, Italian security is concerned, the Vatican has no plans for altering security that is already in place for public events leading up to Easter.