Learning about John Paul I's life ‘will help dispel myths’

Pope John Paul I at the Vatican in 1978 (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

Conspiracy theories and dark intrigue about Pope John Paul I’s untimely death just one month after his election should be set aside and his life and legacy made more widely known, said his niece. Source: Catholic Herald.

“There is a real need instead to look at all of his work, to highlight all of his work, his whole life, all that he was. It cannot all boil down to a legend of the ‘pope who was murdered,'” Lina Petri told Vatican News on September 28, the 42nd anniversary of her uncle’s death.

Pope John Paul I was found dead at the age of 65 that September in 1978. He had been elected pope just 34 days before, a few weeks after the death of St Paul VI on August 6.

The sudden death of “the smiling pope” inspired a number of conspiracy theories and presumptions, while interviews with witnesses and documents found in the Vatican archives by Stefania Falasca, a journalist and vice postulator of Pope John Paul’s sainthood cause, confirm he died of a heart attack.

“So, there is no reason for all this conspiracy that unfortunately overshadowed who my uncle was, his being a shepherd, his being pope, even if for only 34 days,” Ms Petri said.

She praised the recent establishment of the John Paul I Vatican Foundation to preserve and promote his writings, thinking, example and study. Ms Petri is one of the six members of the foundation’s administrative board.

“I think the usefulness of this foundation is precisely to try avoiding putting the spotlight only on my uncle’s last night – a situation that has generated so much ‘fake-news,’ so much nonsense that has been said and is still said today,” she said.

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Learning about Pope John Paul I's life will help dispel myths, niece say (By Carol Glatz, CNS via Catholic Herald

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