In what looks like a response to months-long threats by the dreaded Islamic State (ISIS) militant groups that they would one day annex Rome and Vatican, Pope Francis has now urged all Muslim leaders and scholars to condemn terrorism carried out globally in the name of Islam.
In a press briefing on board an aeroplane going to Rome from Turkey, where he made a three-day-visit, the Pope responded to a question about the ISIS terrorist group and other jihadist outfits by repeating what he had told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while in the country.
"I told him it would be wonderful if all the Muslim leaders of the world – political, religious and academic, spoke up clearly and condemned" the gory path of bloodshed taken by the terrorists damaging the name of Islam, the pontiff said according to AFP.
"That would help the majority of Muslims if that came from the mouths of these political, religious and academic leaders. We all have need of a global condemnation," he said adding that the deeds of the militants such as ISIS have resulted in people across the world thinking that this is what Muslims do.
"I get angry. So many Muslims are offended and say 'we are not these people; the Koran is a work of peace'."
The Pope also expressed his disappointment at those who say "all Muslims are terrorists," adding: "As we cannot say that all Christians are fundamentalists."
The statement comes as one of the major responses to what have been months of threats from the dreaded ISIS group to assassinate the Pope and also to conquer Rome and the whole world.
The self-proclaimed 'Caliph' or the leader of the ISIS 'caliphate' called on Muslims around the world to conquer Rome and own the world, back in July, also urging all Muslims to migrate to the mystic and borderless land they have named as the 'Islamic State'.
Also in September, assassination rumours of the Pope gained traction after an Italian daily newspaper reported citing sources from an Israeli Intelligence that the Pope is "in the crosshairs of ISIS".
The report in Il Tempo newspaper said that the 77-year-old Catholic leader was being targeted because he is "the greatest exponent of the Christian religions" and the "bearer of false truth".
Now that the Pontiff has directly condemned the actions of the ISIS and the world terrorists, chances are that the jihadists find even greater reasons to put the leader in the crosshairs of their rifles.