Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Would-be papal assassin says Ayatollah Khomeini ordered shooting; Vatican dismisses claim

Catholic World News - February 01, 2013

Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II in May 1983, now claims the assassination attempt was ordered by the late Iranian Islamic leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Agca—who has a long history of making sensational and often contradictory claims about his own life and his motives for the shooting—claims that he was trained by Iranian forces and given the mission to kill the Pontiff by Ayatollah Khomeini himself. Agca makes these claims in an autobiography, entitled They Promised Me Paradise, which was released in an Italian edition this week.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, dismissed the claim by the would-be papal assassin, taking note of the steadily shifting stories that Agca has told. “The other hundred or so versions of the facts that Agca has given now, along with his previous claims, are a bit too much to be believable,” the Vatican spokesman said. He added that whenever he had been able to check one of Agca’s assertions, he had found it to be false.

Father Lombardi did confirm Agca’s report that when Pope John Paul II visited him in a Roman prison, the two spoke about the message of Our Lady of Fatima and the Virgin Mary’s involvement in saving the Pope’s life. However, the papal spokesman denied that both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI wrote personal letters to Agca urging him to convert to Christianity.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($18,826 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,174.29
54% 46%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Government Crackdowns on God and Nature 11 hours ago
A legislative mockery: Massachusetts lawmakers rush to replace unconstitutional 'buffer zone' bill 12 hours ago
Gay and Transgendered: What Comes Next? 13 hours ago
Obama's executive order and the danger of reliance on federal contracts 13 hours ago
May God Bless our Readers! July 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Vatican issues working document for Synod of Bishops on the family CWN - June 26
New management, new changes coming for reformed Vatican bank CWN - July 8
Sweeping reforms to Vatican's media, financial operations CWN - July 9
‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this’: Mosul emptied of Christians CWN - July 21