Pope Francis needs beefed-up security to protect him from the threat of extremist terror groups, says Msgr. Jim Lisante, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in New York's Massapequa Park.
"I love his freedom to greet people and be one with people and love people and hug people, but these are critical times," Lisante said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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Israeli sources reportedly told the Italian newspaper Il Tempo
that the pontiff is "in the crosshairs of ISIS [the Islamic State]" and is being targeted because he is the "bearer of false truth."
"It's not like we don't have a history here. Another devout Muslim, so-called, shot [Pope] John Paul II. So, this has been done before. John Paul II, great man that he was, forgave the guy who shot him," Lisante said
"I would like Francis to never be in that position of having to forgive anyone."
The Vatican has denied the Il Tempo report.
Lisante, who is host of "Close Encounter" on Newsmax TV, said the church favors intervention to stop ISIS from continuing its string of atrocities against Christians and beheading of journalists.
"The teaching has always been that first of all you have to defend the innocent, and all these guys who are being murdered, all the people over there, Muslims and Christians and everyone in between, are all innocent victims of a really genocidal group of people," he said.
"You know the Pope's always talked peace, peace, peace, but even he says there may be justification for using force to prevent the killing of the innocent.
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"[There's] a sense that if you don't do something, much worse will . . . certainly evil will triumph, which we don't want."
Lisante is the author of "More of Life and Love,"
published by Resurrection Press.
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