Monday, January 18, 2010

Pope John Paul II's would-be assassin released from prison

Mehmet Ali Agra, who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981 by shooting him was released from prison in Turkey. Agra spent almost 20 years in prison in Italy and was then sent to Turkey where he served another 10 years for a murder he committed in 1979. Pope John Paul visited Agra in prison in Italy, in a very touching moment.

Now that Agra is released, rumours about his connection to communists are re-emerging. Did the KGB hire him, directly or indirectly, to assassinate John Paul, the great voice against communism? The Pope at the time believed there was more to the plot than Agra acting alone and believed it was the work of the Soviet Bloc. JPII was instrumental in defeating communism and so such a plot would make sense. By the way, the pope credited the Lady of Fatima with saving his life.

Agra was a trained gunman and member of the Grey Wolves. The injuries sustained by the pope were very substantial. He lost nearly three quarters of his blood as he was shot several times. He lost consciousness on the way to the hospital, but just before the operation, he regained consciousness and told the doctors not to remove his Brown Scapular of our Lady of Fatima.

A little over two years later, Pope John Paul II went to the prison to visit his would-be assassin, and spoke to him for 20 minutes. He completely forgave him. We will never know what was said during the meeting.

A commission was set up in 2006 by Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and it concluded that the Soviet Union was indeed behind the assassination attempt on John Paul II.

Pope Benedict was also attacked. A mentally disturbed 25-year old woman jumped at him during Midnight Mass at the Vatican. He was uninjured. Last week, he met with her privately and expressed his forgiveness.

No comments:

Post a Comment