Saturday, February 05, 2005

Gunman to the Pope: get well in time for Apocalypse 

This must go down in history as one of the most bizarre get-well card, both for its content and its context.

The addressee: Pope John Paul II recovering in a hospital after a serious throat infection.

The sender: Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who is spending the rest of his life in jail for his attempted assassination of the Pope on May 13, 1981.

The message: "Dear Pope John Paul II, I and you suffer for the fulfilment of a divine universal plan ... I thank you for having revealed on May 13, 2000, the third secret of Fatima... Dear Pope, you must now confirm that we are at the end of the world. This is the last generation of humanity on planet Earth. Only like this will God give you health and miraculous strength for the coming years... I embrace you, Karol Wojtyla [the Pope's original Polish name]. I give you my best wishes."

(for the most comprehensive background to "the third secret of Fatima" you can drop by this official Vatican site; for something lighter, try this BBC report).

While in my younger years, I was fascinated by the JFK assassination (and "JFK" was an infinitely better movie than "Alexander"), but if I could find out the answer to just one historical mystery of the twentieth century, I would love to know if Agca was a mentally unstable lone gunmen, or whether there was a conspiracy involving the Bulgarian, and perhaps even the Soviet secret service. Many court proceedings, investigations, articles and books later, all we are left with are many tantalizing clues - as well as many dead avenues - but no smoking gun.

By the way, Muammar Gaddafi apparently sent the Pope flowers.


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