What happens to Holy Father/Church if Vatican attacked?

So just read that Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested in Italy yesterday, one of their targets was the Vatican. The attack was called off because they suspected they were under surveillance.

What would happen to the Holy Father if (God forbid) :signofcross: and the Church in general if a successful attack was carried out and he managed to survive?


Admin, I have put the above post in wrong area. :stuck_out_tongue: Please move to Catholic board. Thank you.

I don’t understand what you are asking.

The Holy Father would be stateless. The Vatican destroyed, most of the Cardinals killed. The library/documents lost. What happens next? What are the procedures put in place to deal with this type of catastrophe?

This would have no impact on the Church.

The Pope continues to be the bishop of Rome. He would simply live elsewhere if his current residence were not available.

It would take quite an attack to entirely destroy Vatican City. I don’t think these terrorists had a nuclear weapon in their back pack.

Most of the Cardinals do not reside in Vatican City. They are bishops and archbishops in various dioceses around the world.

Perhaps, perhaps not. Again, that is a gigantic leap from “attack” to “total destruction of everything”.


The Church has no procedures nor does it really need any.

If the Pope is alive he is still the Pope. If he is dead, then another is elected.

I recall reading about how at the time of the last Pope the Vatican will be over run and destroyed…I think it was a prophesy of Saint Malachy…then again I’m not sure if many now think his prophesies were not written by him at all…just by looking at what is happening in Europe at the present time gives pause to wonder if it may not be true after all…people are leaving the Christian religion in droves…churches abandoned and torn down…Muslim refugees are heading for Europe by the boatloads…the rise of radical Islam in Europe…now this latest news that the Vatican is also a target for terrorists…it doesn’t take much to figure out where this is going in the not to distant future…maybe the prophesy is not too far off the mark…even here in the US the church is under attack for a number of issues

Thank you for that calm rational response. :bowdown2:

When I read the article I immediately started stressing because I honestly never thought about a terrorist attack on the Vatican and the consequences. My mind conjured up worst possible scenarios (see pic below) :bigyikes:

Has a Pope ever had to leave the Vatican during wars etc. These are things most Catholics do not ponder because he is a constant in our family ancestors and our lives.

Having been there, I know how easily accessible the Vatican it is to the public.

He would flee down the “secret”* *Passetto *to Castel Sant’Angelo. :smiley:

(* This piece of misinformation brought to you by Dan Brown :rotfl: )


No worries.

The Church is not a nation state, but the Body of Christ.

With or without Vatican City, with or without Pope Francis, Christ promised the first Pope, in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of the netherworld would never prevail against His Church.

Peace and all good!

As I recall, during World War II, the Vatican was beset by Nazi’s with the approval of Muselini. Pope Pius XII needed to stay free and keep the priests and nuns out of nazi attention so they could continue to protect Jews, POWs and others. At one point, the Pope wrote a letter of resignation to take effect if he were captured. This would have allowed the cardinals to elect another Pope even if he were still alive.

Satan has made war on the Church for 2000+ yrs. What has changed that he should succeed now?

I guess if the Vatican was destroyed, the Holy Father could always go back to Avignon.

Don’t forget that Vatican City itself was not even established until the 1929 Lateran Accords by Benito Mussolini. Before that, it was the Papal States until the unification of Italy in the late 1800s and then the Church’s administrative center was simply within the confines of the city of Rome.

May God bless you and always keep you at peace! :slight_smile:

Only God knows but His Church would still survive. God Bless, Memaw

Even the lowest of priests can be elected Pope by an assenting or surviving clergy. Chances are that it will never occur, but there will always be a Pope. “Let your heart not be troubled.”

Same as happened to the Dalai Lama,never accrue much.Keep on moving

There was also a contingency plan created that could have moved the pope and the administration of the Vatican to Portugal.

Let me stop you right there. Most of the cardinals would NOT be killed, since they don’t live in Rome. Certainly a substantial number do, but the vast majority would still be overseas in there respective home countries. There would still be more than enough cardinals left alive to continue on and even hold a papal election if necessary. If the Vatican were destroyed, they would simply select an alternate location to rule from. Remember, the Papacy spent nearly a century at Avignon, France in the 1300s. It’s not like it’s unprecedented.

Yes. We live in a dangerous world. The best thing to do is to pray for our Pope daily and for his health and safety.

Actually the only requirement to be made Pope is to be a baptized mmale…or ebooks ordanation in not required.

Actually, ordination IS a requirement… but only AFTER someone’s been elected. If a laymen were chosen, they would have to go through Holy Orders. The odds of this, of course, are extraordinarily remote.

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