An envelope addressed to Pope Francis containing three pistol bullets has been seized in a mail sorting facility close to the northern Italian city of Milan, police said on Monday.
Postal workers called the police after intercepting the envelope overnight in the small town of Peschiera Borromeo.
Reuters reported that the envelope, sent from France, was addressed to “The Pope, Vatican City, St Peter’s Square”.
Police are now trying to analyze the bullets and handwriting on the barely legible envelope.
Pope Francis has drawn ire from conservative critics for his relatively liberal stance on many issues in the church, but a spokesman for the post office said she thought it was more likely a deranged person because of the handwriting.
Pope Francis has been recuperating after a 10-day stint in hospital for colon surgery in July.
He plans to visit Hungary and Slovakia next month, along with a quick stop in Glasgow, Scotland, in November to participate in the COP26 climate conference.