"If this were the time of the Borgias,” said a young teacher in Rome, “there’d be talk that John Paul was poisoned.” - TIME magazine, October 9, 1978
The sudden unexplained death of Pope John Paul I in Sept. 1978 was perhaps the last best chance I might have had to return to the RC Church. It was well known at the time, for example (despite Vatican denials and misinformation) that he had every intention of overturning the misguided dogma against artificial birth control. Thus, Albino Luciani knew from the get go this doctrine (enshrined in the Pope Paul VI encyclical 'Humanae Vitae') was misbegotten. And also that his predecessor Pope Paul VI clearly ignored his own papal commission on the subject - which recommended loosening the rules to the point of lifting the "mortal sin" element. However, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani - then Secretary of the Supreme Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Inquisition) would have none of it given that (p. 55) "To approve artificial birth control would be to betray the Church's heritage."
Theologian Hans Kung went even further in castigating this foolishness in his book, 'Infallible?' - pointing out the false authority behind such nonsense. As he wrote: (p. 143):
"No one, neither Vatican I, nor Vatican II, nor the textbook theologians, has shown that the Church - its leadership or its theology - is able to put forward propositions which inherently cannot be erroneous."
This would have been clearly known by the new pope, who was certainly not the slow learner or simpleton as the Vatican Curia tried to portray him. All of which showed many of us that the Vatican was involved in the incident up to its eyeballs. There is no way in hell the Curia (especially Cardinal Ottaviani) would allow any novice pope to toss out a key RC belief plank on which the pretentious and absurd doctrine of infallibility rested. So in the wake of the sudden death there were some naturally obvious questions. Three of the foremost:
Why had the Vatican misreported who found him? (It was a nun, but the Vatican's misfits denied it)
Why had there been a seeming rush to embalm the body, without an autopsy? (The Vatican appealed to "spiritual care", "respect" and other mumbo jumbo when it knew damn well that having such an autopsy would have quelled any conspiracy rumors one time.)
Why did Cardinal Villot get the embalmers to the scene before the Vatican doctor i.e. to certify death. (Yallop's belief - and mine- was to hide any evidence that might be in the blood or tissues, and revealed in a potential autopsy.)
These and other questions swirled for years before British crime writer David Yallop published his book about the case ('In God's Name') and concluded that the church was surely covering up an assassination. His theory was that John Paul I had been poisoned, struck down by the Vatican's protectors just before Luciani could reveal financial corruption at its highest levels. (Subsequently confirmed in several Financial Times pieces, see below.)
That last part - the Mafia - Vatican money laundering - had attained significant notoriety and entailed exposing many corrupt practices engaged in by the Vatican Bank. In Yallop’s telling, John Paul I’s death was a part of that story because behind the scenes he had trained his eye on the Bank's financial corruption, putting the Curia on edge. Yallop named six people who stood to gain if the pope was suddenly removed. One was Licio Gelli. another, Michele Sindona. Gelli's claim to fame (p. 172, Yallop) was organizing "ratlines" for the Vatican to help Nazis wishing to flee to South America to escape Allied justice after WWII. Sindona's shtick was best embodied in this Yallop quote (p. 436):
"Clearly for people like Michele Sindona and his son, to murder a Pope who stood in their way would be 'self defense'."
But I digress.
The Vatican called all Yallop's claims “absurd”. But of course what would one expect from these craven denizens when they performed a whitewash as brazen and transparent as that performed by LBJ with his Warren Commission? But despite Vatican lies and misinformation Yallop's book became, in effect, the primary account of how John Paul I died, leaving the Vatican’s own account as disreputable as the Warren Commission Report in the case of JFK's assassination.
By late 1987 it was clear the Vatican was feeling the heat just like the Warrenites were by the time Jim Garrison began his own probe into JFK's murder in February, 1967. While Johnson's cronies then enlisted Hoover and his assorted allies to try to bring down Garrison, e.g.
Archbishop John Foley, an official in the Vatican communications office, enlisted British journalist and author, John Cornwell. He offered him the "mission" of dispelling the falsehoods supposedly spread by Yallop - but which I am convinced ring as true as Mark Lane's 'Rush to Judgment' on the Warren fiasco. Cornwell, conveniently, is a lapsed Catholic, so it provided the Vatican a minor cover if accused of hiring a stooge or lackey. Thus assured of cooperation Cornwell headed to Rome and started knocking on the doors of the key players. After being invited to a private Mass with John Paul II — a de facto blessing for the project — many of those doors started to swing open. Let's note here JP II was also up to his eyeballs in trying to conceal the sex abuse scandal erupting around him. See e.g.
So pardon me if I have as much (or more) distrust of a scribe that is given the cooperation of JP II, as I'd have of a Kennedy assassination writer who got the cooperation of J. Edgar Hoover. (Who ignored or dismissed all the sundry assassination threats made against JFK in 1962 coming from New Orleans' Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello. See e.g. the book, 'Act of Treason', by Mark North.)
Let's go back to question one above, which Yallop -and others - raised. The Vatican had falsely named who found the body, but later under pressure admitted it was a nun (Sister Vincenza). It turned out, lo and behold, the "oversight" (sic) occurred simply out of shame, i.e. to admit that a woman — a nun working in the papal apartments — was the one who had entered the hallowed papal bedroom. Never mind it had been the nun's role to take the pope a hot beverage before turning in each night. Once again, think about this: if an entity finds it impossible to tell the truth about a small, prosaic detail why would we expect them to tell the truth about a major event? Say like the actual cause of a pope's death.
Cornwell - surprise! - also learned (presumably from JP II, Ottaviani and the Curia) that John Paul I did not appear to have a secret agenda, nor any appetite for digging into the church’s finances. Cornwell, in that sense, served exactly the role the Vatican had hoped for. Well, hell's bells, what would one expect? DOH! Think of the role Gerald Posner served with his book, 'Case Closed', for the Warren Commission.
According to the narrative Cornwell had developed (in his book, 'A Thief in The Night - The Mysterious Death of Pope John Paul I') John Paul I’s brief pontificate had been careening toward disaster after just 33 days — and many in the Vatican could see it. The Curia mocked the new pope as unsophisticated, childish, with a “Reader’s Digest-mentality.” (Transl. They were scared shitless of him and his resolve, especially to overturn contraception dogma, and were shaking in their white booties.)
Cornwell also expects the reader to believe he "was breaking under the pressure of his role". (According to a WaPo writeup) Leaning heavily on interviews with John Paul I’s priest-secretaries, Cornwell described the pope as asking daily, “Why did they choose me?” And this chestnut: "John Paul I believed his selection had been a grave mistake". Actually, not. As Yallop noted it was a reflection of Albino's natural humble, unassuming nature, something the Curia members might do well to adopt.
In a phone call to The Post, Cornwell evidently blurted out:
“He was not going to be a great pope,”
Well, of course Cornwell (and the Curia's lackeys) would say that given it fit their whitewash narrative. Much like the WC Report claim that Lee Oswald was an "unstable loser loner." But as author Michael Parenti had pointed out ('The Dirty Truths') , skewering this codswallop:
“Lee Harvey Oswald spent most of his adult life not as a lone drifter but directly linked to the
Truth matters in these major assassination events, and we should never trust the first narrators who have a vested interest to protect their own asses while covering up their involvement.
As Yallop notes in his book the threat of John Paul I to the Curia grew ever more critical as Luciani made known his proposals to reform the corrupt Vatican Bank. At the core of corruption, including "laundering Mafia money and exporting lire illegally" (pp. 206-208, Yallop) was Roberto Calvi, P2 paymaster and "God's Banker" - a nickname earned from his close ties to the John Paul II papacy. E.g.
Calvi - who had become Managing Director of Banco Ambrosiano in 1971 (a key conduit for Vatican and Mafia funds) was subsequently found guilty and jailed but while out on appeal fled to London. Bad move. There he was found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in 1982.
Who dunnit? As The Financial Times reported (April 19, 2000): "Three Italians and an Austrian were ordered by a Rome judge to stand trial." The three Italians included "Pippo Calo, a Cosa Nostra boss". The FT piece went on to note:
"Prosecutors suspect that Calvi was murdered because he knew too much about how Mafia funds had been laundered through the Vatican's own bank and Banco Ambrosiano."
Incredibly, the 1970s Vatican Bank- Banco Ambrosiano corruption was still echoing in Italian banking as late as the spring and summer of 2005 (cf. Financial Times, Aug. 9, 2005, 'Italian Bank Probe Raises Ghost Of The Calvi Affair'). It is clear from Yallop's fine research that Pope John Paul I was cognizant of all of this and sought to act expeditiously to bring the Mafia- P2 - Vatican connections and money laundering to an end. That, along with his intention to scuttle the Church's artificial birth control dogma - is what caused the hammer to fall, and the attempt at a whitewash. But even the most cynical could not have imagined the worthless slime and amoral maggots that took out Albino Luciani would stoop to a narrative so debased that it claimed he did it to himself!
Given all this, Cornwell's myopic and gullible tale is mind boggling. In fact, contrary to his spin about Pope John Paul I's mental shortcomings, all the signs pointed to Albino Luciani being potentially one of the most momentous popes in history. Starting with correcting the Church's misbegotten ruling on artificial birth control - which according to Yallop (p. 58):
"On a disaster scale for the Roman Catholic Church, it measures higher than the treatment of Galileo in the seventeenth century "
Then cleaning out the twin viper's dens of the Vatican Bank and Banco Ambrosiano. Cornwell’s book - like Warren Commission defender Vincent Bugiosi's ('Reclaiming History") - is also rife with assorted detractions in the guise of anecdotes, relayed by one of John Paul I’s secretaries, John Magee. For example, Magee cited a day when the pope let slip a clutch of documents while walking in a roof-deck garden. The pages "fluttered downward, scattering across several roofs, and the pope was in despair, saying, 'Oh my God, oh my God'.”
Magee "suggested John Paul go lie down." The Vatican fire brigade eventually managed to collect every piece of paper. But all the while, the pope "was curled up in a fetal position on his bed", according to Magee as related to Cornwell. From here it's but a micro step to get to the claim that John Paul I’s death was connected to his "fractured mental state". In other words, his "nervous, agitated mental state" directly led to his own death (from sudden myocardial infarction) possibly when the poor guy neglected to take his prescribed anticoagulant medication.
Gimme a break, do.
Before anyone swallows this twaddle let's pause to note that in her revealing 2017 book, earlier papal author Stefania Falasca lambastes the priest-secretaries (including Magee) who were key sources for Cornwell. She highlighted a number of their contradictory statements and called the men "unreliable", and perhaps on guard for their own reputations. Jeez , I guess we can say then that Cornwell's book is likewise unreliable. It almost reminds me of Gerald Posner's ('Case Closed') hack misinformation effort exposed by JFK researchers via these assembled Posnerisms, e.g.
The most intriguing section of Yallop's book - which Cornwell is at a loss to address - begins with another lying, skulking moral reprobate: Cardinal Jean-Marie Villot.
This is the guy who insisted John Paul I od'd on his own medication leaving room for speculation about suicide. In other words, an even more monstrous ideation than the Warrenites perpetrated on us with the lone gunman bilge regarding Lee Oswald.
To wit, the pope took his own life! Of course this is all a dodge, agreed to by the conspirators in the Vatican, especially given the cover story is likely to protect Villot himself - the most plausible poisoner of Albino Luciani next to Calo - using a drug known as digitalis. It is the preferred means of disposal used by covert assassins given it leaves no trace. Indeed, it is believed by many Kennedy researchers to have disposed of David Ferrie - Jim Garrison's first witness in the Clay Shaw trial.
Meanwhile, we know Villot summoned a Vatican vehicle for the embalmers at 5:00 a.m. while Dr. Buzzonati didn't arrive until 6:00 a.m. to confirm the death -but without drawing up a death certificate. For Villot, the embalmers took precedence over the head of the Vatican medical service. Why? Further, we know that soon after 5:00 a.m. the pope's glasses, slippers and will disappeared. (Likely coated with vomit which would have given away an external conspirator's actions.). More damning - by 6:00 p.m. in the evening all John Paul I's effects (letters, notes, mementos) had been packed up and carried away and the apartments disinfected and polished. Like Yallop, I suspect Villot was under orders from Mafia heads (such as Pippo Calo) to remove all evidence and get the embalming done to remove any chance of an autopsy.
Yet we are asked to believe - by both the Vatican and John Cornwell - all Villot's actions were a matter of course and normality. Which elicits the question: Why should we believe anything uttered or written by an outfit (using a sub cabal called Intermarium) that was actively engaged in spiriting Nazis and S.S. butchers along "ratlines" to South America, see e.g.
All of these points have since been confirmed and extended in Aarons and Loftus book: 'Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis and The Swiss Banks' .