VATICAN CITY (Zenit): The attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life 22 years ago has given the pontiff’s voice greater authority, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said.
In its Italian edition on May 13, L’Osservatore Romano recalled the warm afternoon of May 13, 1981, in St Peter’s Square, when Turk Mehmet Ali Agca fired at the Holy Father greeting pilgrims from his popemobile.
According to an editorial signed by Mario Agnes, the newspaper’s director, “it cannot and must not be regarded as an event that happened accidentally and is now closed”.
“One cannot ignore that bloody act in order to ‘read’ this pontificate, to understand the mystery of a man whose blood bathed the square that bears the name of Peter,” he added.
“Although the implications of what happened continue to be obscure, the fact remains,” he said. “According to some people’s thinking, John Paul II was an annoyance. There was an attempt to remove this high authority, but they did not succeed in silencing that voice.”
The attempt, the director said, has given this Pope’s voice greater authority, regardless “of the philosophical and religious convictions” of those who listen to him.
In the attack, the Pope was seriously wounded in the stomach, and was in danger of bleeding to death while being transported to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, where he underwent long and delicate surgery.