28th September 2007
Till this very day the debate as to whether Pope John Paul I died naturally or was murdered by any one or a combinations of the factions that felt threatened with the fresh back to basics approach of his papacy, is a mystery that deserves to be unravelled.
Suspicions that something sinister could be involved in the untimely and unexpected death of the smiling Pope were fanned by the obstinate refusal of the Roman Curia to subject the body of His Holiness to an autopsy on very flimsy pretext that it is not normal to subject death popes to autopsy procedures. Abnormal events require abnormal responses and it is certainly not normal for popes to die suddenly in the middle of the night without any advance warning of any ill-health.
Subsequent events confirmed however that in September 1978 as Albino Luciano was getting to grips with the intricacies of the papacy inherited from Paul VI, who due to his character or ill-health had left many problems waiting resolution in the pending tray, there were many people who had valid motives to stop the workings of the new broom and this could only be done by a sudden death which in the absence of a scientific autopsy could make a subtle murder look like a natural death.
In 1978 Banca Ambrosiano was still considered a trustworthy and Roberto Calvi was still considered as God’s banker with special relationship with the Vatican Bank. No one then had yet suspected that Banca Ambrosiano was a rotten bank behind a glossy façade laundering mafia money with the assistance of Archbishop Marcinkus who called the shots apparently unsupervised or unchallenged in the Vatican Bank.
In 1978 no one had yet heard of the organisation P2 and its Masonic networks that had infiltrated the highest echelons of the Roman Curia and all centre of powers within the
In 1978 we had not yet understood that the killing of the left leaning Christian Democratic personality Aldo Moro in the hands of a left leaning outlawed organisation known as Brigate Rosse was possibly the result of hired gun arrangements between the extreme right and the extreme left of the political spectrum.
In 1978, the world had not yet absorbed that the newly elected smiling Pope, who detested the Curial bureaucracy and was elected against his express wish, had very different views about birth control from those presented by Paul VI in Humanae Vitae.
It had not yet leaked out of the Vatican corridors of powers that the Roman Curia was not at all pleased that Holy Spirit had chosen as a new Pope a personality who had no experience either in Vatican Diplomacy or in the workings of the Roman Curia and felt threatened that his reform ideas would challenge the power of many Curia bureaucrats who expected the Pope to be the mouthpiece for their beliefs and wishes.
Time is a great healer. 29 years is a long time and many of those suspected with possible foul play in interfering with the works of the Holy Spirit by sending a new Pope early to his grave, have since followed him in that direction.
But as a Catholic, I find it unacceptable that till this very day no proper and impartial investigation has been conducted by the Church to quash speculation of foul play in the untimely death of Albino Luciani.
In his bestseller book In God’s Name, David Yallop does not prove that John Paul I’s death was a murder. But he certainly makes a strong case based on proven facts that there are very valid suspicions pointing in this direction and it is not too late, nor too early, for the Church to adopt a fully cooperative posture to help science to prove or disprove these suspicions to the extent it is still possible to do so in spite of the post death embalmment and the passage of time since death.
After 29 years it is time for Catholics to know the truth about what sent their newly chosen smiling Pastor to an early grave and why the Roman Curia made very evident attempts to block an instant autopsy in spite of public acclaim in this regard. How can we accept that society performs an autopsy of its least denominator who suffers an unexplained sudden death and fails to perform an autopsy on a Pontiff who meets a sudden death that defies all known medical records of his state of health at the time of his death?
The Church has opened the process to beatify and eventually sanctify Luciani. This may well be what the smiling Pope really deserves. But there could be no argument that the very least he deserves is due process to establish the truth about his death. All Catholics deserve this. Only such bold cooperative change of attitude by the Roman Curia could reverse the seemingly accelerating process of Catholics removing their church as a medium of their relationship with God.