© Reuters. Pope Francis attends a mass for the beatification of Pope John Paul I, in St. Peter’s Sq. on the Vatican, September 4, 2022. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 after solely 33 days as pontiff, moved nearer to sainthood on Sunday with the Vatican nonetheless having to dismiss lingering conspiracy theories that he was a sufferer of foul play.
Pope Francis beatified his predecessor at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Sq. earlier than tens of hundreds of individuals. Beatification is the final step earlier than sainthood within the Roman Catholic Church.
John Paul was generally known as “The Smiling Pope” due to his meekness and ease.
“With a smile, Pope John Paul managed to speak the goodness of the Lord,” Francis stated in his homily, talking as folks huddled underneath umbrellas in a thunder storm.
“How lovely is a Church with a contented, serene and smiling face, that by no means closes doorways, by no means hardens hearts, by no means complains or harbours resentment, doesn’t develop offended or impatient, doesn’t look dour or undergo nostalgia for the previous”.
Born Albino Luciani into poverty in a northern Italian mountain village in 1912, he was ordained a priest in 1935, a bishop in 1958 and a cardinal in 1973.
He was elected pope on Aug. 26, 1978 following the loss of life of Pope Paul VI, taking the title John Paul to honour his two rapid predecessors.
Two nuns of the papal family who heard no response to knocks on his door at 5:20 a.m. on Sept. 29 to deliver espresso discovered him useless in his mattress. Medical doctors stated he died of a coronary heart assault and aides stated he had complained of chest pains the day earlier than however didn’t take them critically.
At first the Vatican, uneasy saying two ladies had entered the pope’s mattress chambers, stated he was discovered lifeless by a priest.
The Vatican corrected itself however the misstep sprouted conspiracy theories.
In 1984 “In God’s Title – An Investigation into the Homicide of Pope John Paul I,” by British creator David Yallop that argued the pope was poisoned by a cabal linked to a secret Masonic lodge, spent 15 weeks on the New York Occasions bestseller record.
The New York Occasions personal overview of the ebook, nonetheless, ridiculed Yallop’s investigative methods and in 1987 one other Briton, John Cornwell, wrote a ebook known as “A Thief within the Night time,” meticulously dismantling conspiracy theories.
Though extensively debunked, the concept of a pope being murdered in his bed room within the twentieth century irresistibly entered the collective consciousness and within the movie “The Godfather Half III, a pope named John Paul I used to be killed with poisoned tea.
“There isn’t any fact to it in any respect,” stated Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, when requested in regards to the conspiracy theories on Italian tv on Friday.
“It’s a disgrace that this story, this noir novel, goes on. It was a pure loss of life. There isn’t any thriller about it,” Parolin stated.
Italian journalist and creator Stefania Falasca, who spent 10 years documenting John Paul’s life and considered his medical historical past, wrote a number of books about him. She known as the conspiracy theories “publicity-driven rubbish”.
Falasca, who was the deputy postulator, or promoter, of the sainthood trigger, stated he was being beatified not due to what he did as pope however the best way he lived his life.
John Paul is attributed with the miracle therapeutic of an 11-year-old Argentine woman who had a extreme mind irritation, epilepsy and suffered septic shock. Her mother and father prayed to him.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that solely God performs miracles, however that saints, who’re believed to be with God in heaven, intercede on behalf of people that pray to them.
A second miracle will must be verified for John Paul to be declared a saint.