You couldn't make this s**t up

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

They didn't teach me this in Catholic school

With the Pope in the news so much these days, it has got me thinking once again about his predecessor, John Paul I. For many Catholics such as myself (whether practising or not) very little is known about this man perhaps other than the fact he held the shortage papacy in history at 33 days.
He wasn't expected to win and in those short 33 days he showed himself to be a reformer and someone determined to take the church in a new, more humble and perhaps even progressive direction.
He refused to wear the papal tiara or to be carried in the king-like chair. He was viewed—and feared—by many as a liberal on a mission to reverse the Church’s position on contraception, clean up corruption in the Vatican bank and dismiss many Masonic (right-wing) cardinals.
Then he died, apparently of a heart attack.
But for you Dan Brown-loving conspiracy buffs out there, consider the following circumstances surrounding the death of PJP I:

- The Vatican lied about who found the body (it claimed it was papal secretary John Magee; in fact it was later revealed that he was found by a nun in the Papal Household.)
- The Vatican lied about the time of death.
- The Vatican said that his personal property (his glasses, his will, and documents he was working on when he died) disappeared from his bedroom and was never found (In fact that was shown to be untrue. His possessions are in the possession of his sister's family.)
- It hinted that that his ill-health was due to heavy smoking; in fact he never smoked.
- The pope's body was embalmed within one day of his death. The sudden embalming raised suspicions that it had been done to prevent a post-mortem. However the Vatican insisted that a papal post-mortem was prohibited under Vatican law. This too was later revealed to be incorrect: in 1830 a post-mortem was carried out on the remains of Pope Pius VIII.

Anyone seen the Godfather Part III? Apparently the movie makes insinuations that PJP I may have been murdered after discovering discrepancies in Vatican Bank funds.

Whether or not he was actually murdered, I think this is fascinating stuff, especially for us progressive, non-practising Catholics.
Want to find out more? Check out:

http://www.tldm.org/news3/johnpaulI.htm (pure conspiracy stuff)
http://www.prose-n-poetry.com/display_work/10583/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_I
http://praiseofglory.com/popejp1.htm

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