Pope John Paul I's death

Well, I’ve never seen Godfather III, but a few years after its release (circa '94) I read a copy of In God the Name by David Yallop (1984). For those unfamiliar, the basic premise is that Pope John Paul I was murdered by poison. The work makes a fairly convincing case - as any good conspiricy book should. Much of the conjecture centers around JPI’s proposal of a shakeup within the Vatican (specifically the bank, following the fall of the Milanese institution Banco Ambrosiano IIRC), and to make the southern hemisphere better represented in VC.
My question is this: Why is this not given any forum? Seemingly never discussed? Is it more preposterous than the JFK assasination theories? Or Roswell? Or baseball players on steroids?
BTW, IMHO, the loss of Albino Luciano ranks as one of the greatest tragedies of the past century.

One of these things is not like the others.

Probably because it’s boring. JP I is universally recognized as a nice guy. However, at the time of his elevation, the standard papal rumors (fanned by the likes of such fact-free seekers of book sales as Malachai Martin) was that the Vatican was about to “roll over” for the Soviets or the Communist-dominated Second World, compromising and selling out its heritge for trifles of accommodation while allowing itself to be gutted from within by the ecclesiastical Left Wing. Instead, as soon as JP II was elevated, we saw immediate confrontation between the Church and the Soviets (reminiscent of Pius XII) and the Left Wing of the Church was pulled up short while even heresiarchs on the Right were tolerated (not to say encouraged). With all those conspiracy theories blown totally out of the water, the short reign of JP I tends to be forgotten.

At any rate, the banking scandal blew up, regardless, and JP II has elevated an extraordinary number of Third World bishops to the College of Cardinals, so the whole point of the original “plot” seems to have failed, making it seem even less interesting.

(And nice as he was, few people thought that JP I had the political power to carry off any of the “daring” reforms that Yallop (and a few others) attributed to him, so it has been hard to find people to believe there was ever a point in poisoning him.)

I’m sorry. Let me clarify what I meant. While it is a fact that there are professional athletes who use performance enhancing drugs, the percentage of those that do is a mystery, and this is cause for much conjecture and debate. Perhaps too much so. Perhaps a great deal more than something which deserves to be discussed.

The number of people on the planet who are as influential (read powerful) as the pope can (arguably) be diplayed with one hand. If any one of those people perish under abnormal cicumstances, I would think that there would be an interested populace.
While Wotyja may have provided third world nations more representation within VC, he hasn’t exactly come off as a progressive, has he?

Though I read/heard more than once about the supposed assasination of John-Paul I (perhaps american people are less interested in it than french people because the proportion of catholics is way lower), it’s more along the line “do you know that John Paul I was actually assassinated?”, with not much elaboration. Indeed there isn’t much debates about this particular conspiracy theory. I would suspect that it’s a consequence of the very short duration of his papacy. People didn’t get to know him or to have any opinion about him, so they aren’t very interested in his death, or in conspiracy theories about it.

(of course the short duration of this papacy is also the reason why there are conspiracy theories at the first place)

Well, was there any evidence that JPI would have been?

Well, Captain, Luciano was alway a priest of and for the people, and IIRC he used to get into hot water as a cardinal because he preferred to visit with sick children in a hospital (or go for a hike through the mountains) rather than attend an ivory tower function. He remained a simple country priest as he rose through the Vatican. Basically, he had been progressive his entire career - would he have changed drastically?

What WAS the official cause of death? How old was he?

I am not claiming that there is no reason to be interested in JP I’s brief reign or death. I am simply noting that on the one hand JP II’s performance began to overshadow JP I’s visibility from the day he was selected (generally making hash of the conspiracy theories that were already current regarding what the papacy and Vatican would do inthe world), and that the circumstances of JP I’s death were not so utterly peculiar as to cause comment and foster lots of conspiracy theories. A 66 year old man suffers a heart attack after being suddenly promoted to a high-pressure position in the organization–particularly a man who appears to have had no aspirations in that direction. This is not the stuff of good conspiracies.

Had JP I been visibly in excellent health and then died of a strange illness with lots of symptoms of poisoning, or had JP I actually made any revolutionary pronouncements, there might have been more interest.

And, of course, another reason why conspiracy theories have not caught on is that the first ones out of the chute were filled with references to Masonic plots. Only true believers in the Illuminati are inspired by Masonic plots, these days, so it is hard to get a good conspiracy going if you’re going to rest your hopes on 19th century mechanisms. (This is not a shot at anyone who is interested in Abino Luciano’s death, but is a reason why concern is not more widespread.)

Yallop does make the claim that right before he died, JP I was planning to make changes to the Church’s stance on birth control.

Dunno about cause of death, but he was around 66. My encyclopedia claims he “seemed conservative on doctrinal and disciplinary matters but made no major pronouncements on them”.

You seem to equate a good pastoral priest with being progressive. I don’t think I would make that assumption, personally. I don’t think there’s any linkage between a priest’s pastoral aptitude and his doctrinal views.

Well, yeah, especially because JPII seems like he also prefers to go hiking in the mountains and visiting sick kids to attending ivory tower functions (even though, in his case, it’s x-country sking, I think, and he doesn’t do much of it now because of his health).

Actually, as I remember it from reading him when it came out, Yallop’s problem is that he never quite proposed an actual theory. Having tried to cast doubt on the circumstances of the death, he then had a series of candidates who might have done it, all for different reasons. This may be relatively responsible as conspiracy theorists go (and Yallop remained a well-respected jounalist in Britain despite publishing the book), but it’s a bit weak impact-wise. Aside from P2, I’m pretty sure I quickly forgot who the others were.
John Cornwall’s A Thief in the Night - which I’ve only read extracts from - also seemed to tie up most the actual loose ends teased out by Yallop. (And given Cornwall’s subsequent notoriety amongst some Catholics, he’s a bit difficult to dismiss as a Vatican whitewasher.)

He’s made a number of surprising apologies and admissions of wrongdoing on the part of the Catholic church. And while he hasn’t been terribly progressive on doctrinal matters, he’s been far more accomodating politically than anyone expected.

I don’t know why, jehovah68, but I have wondered the same. The correct title of the book is In God’s Name which my dad read then purchased copies for my sister and me. My dad was a Catholic who nearly became a priest, but ended up leaving the church. His interest in the power of the church, however, never waned.

I never paid much attention to the popes, but you’re right, John Paul I was different and I immediately liked him and cared about him. If the information David Yallop brought forth is true, it is quite disturbing. The Vatican is it’s own country, however, and the Curia would never permit any investigation into his death.

My understanding (from books I have forgotten the names of, sorry) is that JPI was a good and saintly man, but not a natural leader of one of the worlds largest multi-nationals.

To lead the church requires more than just a good heart and deep faith. One must also be a politician, or at least politically astute, and have an eye on the bank account. JPI had none of this.

He was not well, and was on medication for (As I recall) heart trouble. He stopped taking this medication and placed himself in Gods hands.

So who killed JPI? No one.

Since the electors were the same, and JP2 was chosen only a month after JP1, wouldn’t it make sense to assume that the cardinals had more or less the same expectations concerning both? I mean, why would they had elected a progressists, and one month later changed their mind and elected a conservative?

I also read Yallop’s book. There are strange facts surrounding this case as I recall (from memory so apologies for inaccuracies):

  • Unusually, no autopsy was permitted by the Vatican despite the fact he died suddenly with no particular reason why he should die so suddenly

  • Yallop claims he was about to make a number of changes - to birth control (as mentioned) but he was also about to launch an investigation into the Vatican’s finances (the Banco Ambrosiano was the Church’s bank - “Gods Bankers” as they were known)

  • There were strange connections to P2 - a secret society involving the mafia and Italy’s former Prime Minister, Berlosconi? (now in jail)

  • There’s an arch-bishop (forget his name) who is holed up inside the Vatican even now. If he ever leaves, he’ll be arrested.

The book was written many years ago and many of the accusations made by Yallop turned out to be true eg the collapse of the banco Ambrosiano, the existence and extent of P2.

The chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, Roberto Calvi, was found hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in London some years ago. He had bricks in his pockets. The official verdict was suicide but many suspect he was murdered by the mafia. I seem to recall hearing recently that they are about to open a new inquiry into his death.