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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Files show KGB ordered Pope assassination

According to documents recently uncovered by Italian investigators, Pope John Paul II's 1981 assassination attempt was ordered by the Soviet Union, which passed the order through the East German and Bulgarian secret services:
Two newspapers, Corriere della Sera and il Giornale , are reporting that files from the Stasi, the East German spy agency, confirm the suspicions long held by Vatican officials. Documents in newly opened files show that the KGB, the Soviet spy agency, ordered the assassination attempt, which was carried out by the Bulgarian secret service.
Corriere della Sera reports that the Soviet service gave the order to assassinate John Paul II, and Bulgarian agents recruited Agca for the effort. That report confirms a theory that was advanced by the Pope himself, in his book, Memory and Identity; the Pope wrote that he was convinced Agca was not acting on his own initiative, "but someone else planned and commanded it."
The pope was apparently targeted because of his strong support of the Solidarity movement in Poland, which struggled against Soviet domination. Priests reportedly smuggled secret messages from the Holy Father to Solidarity leaders in prison.

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