I already knew there’d been two assassination attempts on the greatest of Popes, JP2™. But I hadn’t known about the background of the first one.
Pope John Paul II was shot and critically wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca, a trained sniper from Turkey, while he was entering St Peter’s Square at Vatican City in May 1981. The Pope was struck 4 times, and suffered severe blood loss.
Four times! And he lived! And yet Tupac and Fiddy get all the street cred.
Several theories exist as to the motivations of Mr Ağca; the most strongly advocated theory being that the KGB had instructed the Bulgarian and East German secret services to carry out the mission. Allegedly, their motivation was the Pope’s support of Poland’s solidarity movement, which was seen as a direct threat to Soviet interests in Eastern Europe.
Interestingly, JP2 forgave Ağca for the assassination attempt, even asking the people to “pray for my brother [Ağca] … whom I have sincerely forgiven.” The two men developed a friendship and the Pope even kept in touch with Ağca’s family.
How very Catholic of him. Here’s to JP2! My personal favourite Pope and if there were Papal Top Trumps, he’d surely be the best card.