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Would-be assassin welcome to pray at late Pope's tomb, says Vatican cardinal

January 21, 2010

If Mehmet Ali Agca is serious about his expressed wish to visit the Vatican and pray at the tomb of Pope John Paul II, he will be welcome, Cardinal Peter Kdowo Turkson told reporters. The African cardinal, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, was reacting to an interview in which Agca said that he wanted to visit the late Pope’s tomb to “pay tribute to his beloved brother.”

Agca, who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, was released earlier this week from a prison in Turkey. He has said that he wants to become a Catholic, claiming that he experienced a religious conversion in 2007 on the anniversary of the assassination attempt. Agca also said that the end of the world is imminent. At the time of his release, Turkish prison officials said that Agca was emotionally unbalanced.


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  • Posted by: RC - Jan. 21, 2010 8:11 PM ET USA

    From the store above, the Cardinal's comments seem overly irenic. But it seems apparent from the ANSA story that they were tongue in cheek: "Of course, he would have to be accompanied to the Vatican by a large number of security officers, that has to be clear....We only have to await the content of this new gospel he is talking about."