The Jesuit New World Order

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Murder of Pope John Paul I
the jesuits Masonic Mafia Murder, Cover-up
(Roberto Calvi, before his suspicious death)

This title, for some, has all the hallmarks of a Hollywood blockbuster movie. However, stranger things have happened. For if one has ever seen the film The Godfather III they will recall how the main aspect to this film was amazingly enough set in the late 1970s Vatican. 
During this film, a rich and influential Italian-American mafia family (the Corleones), are frantically trying to shift millions of dollars from a mafia account into the Vatican bank. All this must be done before the ailing pope dies. However, die he does, and the deal is off and in revenge for this, the mafia orders the assassination of the pope's financial adviser [an Archbishop], who it turned out was playing both sides against the other.
There is no doubt that this film, which was based on Mario Puzo's novel, has strikinly similarities to David Yallop's much acclaimed book, In God's Name.
Yallop, in his book, mentions this film:  
"Thus a film taking a highly glamouros and amoral look at the world of the Mafia produced enourmous profits, some of which went to sustain Michele Sindona, finacial adviser to the Mafia families Cambino and Inzerillo. They in turn were channelling the multi-million profits aquired largely from heroin dealing into Sindona's banks. The circle was complete. Life was imitaiting art" (p.187.) 
Monsignor Montini was humilitated by Pius XII, when he accidently showed the pontiff a file that was not for his attention. Pius would say to sister Pascalina, "Take him into the next room and begin having him recite the alphabet" (La Popessa, p. 316.)
This much complex and ambitious man would one day become Pope Paul VI. However, Pius XII didn't believe he had what if would take to make a strong and "decisive" pope. 
Accoring to Pascalina, Montini would carry with him, his own portable altar and Mass kit in a large briefcase. His followers labelled him 'Jesus Christ's Chairman of the Board' (La Popessa, p. 363.) 
It is reported, that Pope Paul VI was heard screaming on his deathbed, shortly before he died (B.R. Smith, Second Warning, p.120.)
(The death of Archbishop Macchi, aged 82 on April 6th 2006, might throw some light on the popular assumption that the liberal reformers of Vatican II removed the real Pope Paul VI. Sometime in the mid 1960s, Paul would be incarcerated in a prison or monastery until his death. Maybe in Italy, but who knows. Apparently the CIA took it seriously enough, calling for an expert voice analysis and other personal features of pope Paul. And they had their doubts, it seems! But was a man put in his place or just an actor? It has been done before. Maybe with the death of Archbishop Macchi, who was Paul's private secretary, some knowledge might come our way. If it does we on this website will get it out to you as soon as we know.) 
Some would publicly utter: "Cardinal Luciani, was his only friend." 
(Pope John Paul I shortly before his "death" speaking to his soon to be successor)  
So the hunt was now on to find a successor to replace this dithering pope (Paul agonised for three years about whether or not to implement the new mass.) Incredibly, due to the state that the Church was in at that time, somone thought a female Pope might not have been a bad idea, but this was impossible of course. After much deliberationg and behind the scenes manoevering, Albino Luciani from Venice, was voted the new Pope. He would interestingly enough choose to call himself John Paul I. This socialist, not to mention incredibly naive Pope, hadn't even appeared on the short list nor had the bookies of the day even given him odds. England's, Basil Hume, an outsider, was 25-1: the least most likely to succeed the dead Italian pontiff (he would only receive one solitary vote. 
At the first vote, Luciani received 23 votes (one being from Karol Wojtyla.) Amazed and perplexed at this, the second round netted him 30 votes. By this stage all the warring fractions now needed to pull together, and with the help and intervention of Cardinal Koenig, the third ballot allotted Albino Luciani 68 votes. Yallop, whose book presents us with these interesting figures, believes that Luciani really didn't want to be pope, but a humble parish priest (Yallop, p. 125.) At the 11th hour, the pressure was really on Luciani to be courageous and bold and accept the papacy - the final vote allotted him 99 votes. Albino Luciani was surprisingly, elected pope. 
The new pope was asked the stock question that all new popes are asked: 
"Do you accept your canonical election as supreme pontiff?" 'Eventually he responded,' "May God forgive you for what you have done in my regard. I accept." (Yallop, p.126,127.) 
This shell-shocked smiling pontiff would be dead on 29th September 1978 at 4.30 am, by an alleged poisoning (something not known since Pius VIII), with an expression of agony on his face.    
Sister Vincenza, the pope's personal aide of many years, discovered his body. She summoned Cardinal Villot (Rosicrucian and member of the Masonic P2 Lodge.) Yet only 12 hours earlier, Villot had been sacked by the pope as Secretary of State.   
Soon on the scene and according to Yallop, the prelate removed Luciani's slippers, his detailed notes about major changes to the church, a medicine bottle (for his low blood pressure), glasses and his last Will.   
These private items were never seen again. The reason his slippers and glasses were removed, according to Yallop, was because the pope had been heard vomiting, hence the need to move his slippers and glasses.   
By 6:00am, less then 90 mins after he was found dead, the entire 19 rooms of the papal office were totally bereft of anything remotely associated with the papacy of Luciani (Yallop, p. 324.) All his key staff members were soon to be packed up and shipped out of the Vatican to far and remote parts of Italy. Eventually, the Vatican summed his doctor and then notified his family of the pontiff's death. Then at 7:27am, Vatican radio announced the death to the world.   
Dr. Buzzonetti stated that he died of a heart attack at 11:00pm, the night before, even though no autopsy had yet been performed. This would later be rejected by the Signoracci brothers, who stated that from the lack of rigor mortis and the temperature of the body that death had taken place not at 11:00pm on the 28th but between 4:00am and 5:00am on the 29th.  
Monsignor Noe (now a Cardinal) would also affirm the professors findings (Yallop, p 325.) However, after much intense pressure, an autopsy was performed on Luciani, but this was hushed up for fears on its devastating conclusion (Yallop, p. 341) and then he was embalmed in the Vatican.  
The Vatican's disinformation department circulated rumours as to the cause of the pontiff's death. They suggested that John Paul had taken too much medication, but Luciani's doctors hotly disputed this by saying he was very careful with his medication and that the dosage he took was very minimal. The Vatican also wanted to put out that John Paul had been in poor health, but his own brother, close friends, fellow priests, confidantes and even his own personal doctor, sharply disputed and rejected such false claims.   
Vatican insiders and others, who take a keen interest in their affairs, have long suggested murder. Why, some might ask? Because John Paul I wanted to clear out over 114 well known high ranking Freemasons (the vast majority being Cardinals), then he would restack the decks, sweep clean the dead wood, sell of all Vatican treasures and try and regain control of his church and what was left of its battered integrity, after the Marcinkus scandal (Yallop, p. 23.)   
Amazingly, according to Yallop, on the day when John Paul was laid in state, people who had come to pay their respects, were heard saying: "Who has done this to you? Who has murdered you?" (p. 321.)  
What makes this allegation even more plausible and sinister is the amount of time that lapsed from his inauguration to his death 33 days. Please keep in mind that Freemasonry has 33 degrees to its secret and occultist religion. Do not be fooled, this is NO coincidence. This pope's death is believed by many, to have been carefully planned and carried out by dark figures within the hierarchy of the Vatican; for nobody else would have been able to get near enough to him, to murder him! It is also baffling that no autopsy was ever publicly performed on John Paul, nor the time or reason for his death has ever been investigated or made public!  
So who are the main suspects for this most serious allegation?  
Yallop lists six key suspects: Marcinkus, Villot, Calvi, Sindona, Cody and Gelli (p. 27) 
  • The FBI, Organised Crime and Racketeering section of the US Department of Justice and the Strike Force in the Southern District of New York had - for two years - been investigating Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, known as "God's Banker!" It would appear that Marcinkus had tried to purchase $950 million dollars of American counterfeit bonds, on behalf of Pope Paul VI and with his knowledge (Yallop, p. 74.) Once the transaction had taken place, the Mafia, who had acted as middlemen, would receive their cut of $150 million dollars. 
  • The US government had become aware of this and subsequently wanted to find out how high up this crime went. After interviewing Marcinkus at the Vatican, it was decided that insufficient evidence was available to prosecute him. It should be pointed out that had the US tried to take this further, diplomatic immunity would probably have been cited, thus halting all investigations. 
  • Eventually, Marcinkus would leave the Vatican under a dark cloud and take up residence in the luxury retirement area of Sun City, Phoenix, Arizona, with a modest population of just 40,000 people. This former heavy weight of Rome (once called the guerrilla) lived comfortably in his $400,000 bungalow, with outdoor swimming pool (no doubt owned by the diocese), and played golf in their exclusive and private lawns, while still enjoying Vatican diplomatic immunity; he was known by his American parishioners, as "Fr." Chink. 
  • Before his death on the 20th February 2006, the Vatican's secretary made a trip to see him, and was able to collate some of his "papers," before returning back to Rome.
  • Cardinal John Cody's Chicago Empire was quite amazing. His total wealth of this diocese (then) was $250 million dollars. His diocese would be investigated by the US authorities, which turned up mismanagement of funds (500,000) and ($4,000,000,000 had been lost in one year alone, by the national conference of Catholic bishops.
  • (In 2002, the Church of England went one better than their US counterparts: they lost over 800,000,000,00 on the UK stock markets!)
  • Cody was also responsible for 2 million Catholics, 3,000 priests and 450 parishes (Yallop, p. 26.) He would (on many occasions) be caught drink driving, smashing up hotel rooms and even had a live-in-lover in the presbytery. He would shower her with financial gifts, i.e., property in Florida, luxury cars, expensive clothes, furs, holiday's and cash presents, she even took out life insurance on him, with his consent of course. Yet thanks to the Chief of Police and the Mayor of Chicago, no action or press reporting on this godless man was ever made public. (On his numerous visits to the Vatican, Cody would give young Italian priests, hundred dollar bills and say, rather crudely, "Son, say a mass for my dead mother.") 
  • Another colourful character was Licio Gelli (master mason) who lead the Masonic group P2 (most of its members are Roman Catholic, with the current Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, also past member.) It is suggested that their connections spread right around the globe and right into the heart of the Vatican. 
  • Gelli would have numerous audiences with Paul VI. 
  • Former Gestapo chief, Klaus Barbie (who escaped from Germany after receiving a Vatican passport, along with many other Nazis) initially founded this group.
  • Sindona was called "the man of the year" by the US Ambassador and then Time Magazine dubbed him "the greatest man of the year." He had financial connections with Rockefellers, Rothschilds and even the CIA and other government departments.  
  • With such glowing "endorsements," Yallop slightly spoils the mood, when he declares that Sidona was also heavily involved with the mafia drug trade as well (p.182, 183.)
  • Sindona also bragged with Calvi how they ran the Milan stock market (Yallop, p.188.) 

Calvi would later be murdered (not suicide) under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Patrick still remembers the tense and bleak atmosphere that hung over the dark damp rail of the bridge. Calvi's style of death was a Masonic form of punishment.

(Interestingly enough the City of London Coroner, Dr. David Paul, was my fathers GP in South London in the mid 1960s, and once shared a billet with Prince Philip, during their naval days in World War II.) 

(Patrick points to the very spot when Calvi "died." Little has changed) 
Also worthy of noting was Calvi's false passport (Nicaraguan), which had a Masonic symbol in the centre that was shown on Italian television in the 1990s.  
(Incidentally, during this highly suspicious period, close associates of Calvi also met premature and convenient deaths, with his life long secretary of 30-years, apparently throwing herself out of a window to her death and another associate being shot.)  
 (Note the "Bridge House" logo) 
Regrettably for the family of Calvi, this pope (and the last one) have taken no action against any of these assailants (at least those who are still alive.) the jesuit papal london crown city crest dragon symbol

The Murder of Pope John Paul I
by Vance Ferrell
In Florence, when Cardinal Benelli came out
of his room at 9 a.m., he was surrounded by
reporters. Tears flooding from his eyes, he said,
“The Church has lost the right man for the right
moment. We are very distressed. We are left
When Pope Paul VI died, little emotion had
been expressed. But when John Paul I died, the
entire city was up in arms. Men and women
wept openly everywhere. When his body was
shown, people passing it were heard to shout,
“Who has done this to you? Who has murdered
Within two days, the public and the press
were loudly demanding an autopsy. But the
Vatican was determined that no autopsy be
performed, for that might have revealed some-
thing new about the cause of death.
  1 - Birth and Youth    5
  2 - Priest and Bishop    8
  3 - Luciani Discovers Vatican Bank
  4 - The Conclave    21
  5 - A New Pope    26
  6 - The Vatican Financiers    29
  7 - Investments by the Holy Day    32
  8 - The Thirty-three Days Begin    41
  9 - The Last Day    51
10 - How Did it Happen?    56
11 - The Aftermath    61
Chronology of the Popes    64
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
After a careful reading of the lives and work of both
popes, it would appear that the difference between John
XXIII and John Paul I was that John made his October
28, 1958, announcement to convene Vatican II without
telling anyone ahead of time; John Paul I made the mis-
take of confiding the night before in his closest adviser
(Cardinal Jean Villot, Vatican Secretary of State), regard-
ing what he intended to begin doing the next day; and
then he handed him a list of appointments, resignations,
transfers, as well as plans to begin an investigation into
the Vatican Bank and the practices of its president, Paul
Marcinkus. That was the evening of September 28, 1978.
Although suspecting such far-reaching plans, it was
without prior warning that Villot had been told of them.
John Paul I retired for the night, and Villot sat in his
office, with the papers before him, mulling over the
conversation. He looked at the telephone on his desk.
Early the next morning Albino Luciani, who had become
Pope John Paul I, a man in almost perfect health, was
found dead in bed, only 33 days after his election as
pope. Very early that same morning he was embalmed,
thus ensuring that an autopsy would not reveal the
chemicals in his blood.
By special request, we have been asked to tell the
complete story of Pope John Paul I. The history in
former ages of the Roman Catholic Church fills many
pages of the book, Great Controversy. In the present
study, we will primarily focus on 10 years of its recent
history (1968-1978).
Here is that story:
Birth and Youth
Giovanni Luciani was a young widower with two
daughters. After remarrying, on October 17, 1912, his
second wife, Bortola, gave birth to a son, whom they
named Albino. Poverty was a way of life for this family,
and young Albino tasted it to the full. Much of the time
his father was away elsewhere in France or on the Italian
peninsula, working various jobs to support the family.
The small, ill-heated shack was barely large enough for
the family; and, at a young age, Albino was sent out in
wooden clogs, with extra nails banged into the soles to
help them last longer, to cut grass on the mountainsides.
The grass would then be sold for a pittance, and the
money used to buy a little more food.
As Albino entered his teen years, at the school he
attended he spent as much time reading as he could. A
quiet, modest demeanor marked his entire life, and
many around him did not realize he had a brilliant
mind. He had a near-photographic memory; and,
throughout his youth and adulthood, he poured through
as many books as he could find on a wide variety of
issues,—but especially bearing on social and economic
problems. Unbeknown to all, Albino was training himself
for an important work later in life.
As a faithful Roman Catholic, young Albino, with the
full encouragement of his mother and the local parish
priest, decided to enter the priesthood. His father, a
dedicated socialist, upon learning of it gave his consent
- 1 -
Birth and Youth
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
In 1923, at the age of 11, young Albino went to a
seminary at Feltre. There he first learned of the remark-
able network of control that leaders in the church exer-
cised over their own workers. Not content merely to send
Jesuit agents into other denominations, Vatican head-
quarters was closely monitoring the lives of its own
priests, workers, and officials. This Catholic KGB-like
operation got its start with Pope Pius IX’s Syllabus of
Errors of 1864, in which Pius IX (1846-1878) denounced
modern ideas and began the publication of a frequently
updated book, the Syllabus, listing publications which
the faithful were forbidden to read. Vatican I, in 1870
when Pope Pius IX forced that council to declare himself
infallible and condemn democracy and religious liberty,
only added to the controversy. (His positions are still
held by many; as evidence of it, certain admiring Catho-
lic leaders today are trying to get Pius IX canonized as a
Leo XIII (1878-1903) was followed by Pius X (1903-
1914). With his blessing and financial support, an Italian
prelate, Umberto Benigni, instituted an entire system of
informers among Catholic workers. The Inquisition was
not dead! Those found reading or discussing the wrong
writings were eliminated from the church. Yet, as in
earlier centuries, this latest Inquisition was also deftly
used to destroy church rivals who were quite faithful to
the cause.
For his part, Benigni did his task well. Thousands of
Catholic workers were driven out of the church. His spy
ring was not disbanded until 1921, at which time he
went to Mussolini and offered his services. Recognizing
this as a terrific opportunity, Benito Mussolini hired him
on the spot.
Albino Luciani entered Feltre Seminary two years
after Benigni’s project had been closed down, but the
effects of the mental suppression thereby imposed were
still evident throughout the church. But Luciani contin-
ued to read and think. Each summer, Albino would
return home and help his family as they worked in the
fields planting and bringing in the harvest.
Birth and Youth
“The candidate was Albino Luciani, the sixty-
six-year-old patriarch of Venice, born the son
of a socialist migrant worker on the Street of
the Half Moon in the village of Forno di Canale;
a priest at twenty-three, a bishop at forty-six, a
cardinal at sixty; an outspoken opponent of
Communism (although always on good terms
with local Communist bosses), a humanist of
some distinction, a conservative theologian,
conversant with but not overly enthusiastic
about ecumenists and their dreams.”—Malachi
Martin, The Keys of this Blood, p. 610.
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
Graduating from Feltre, Luciani went on to the still-
larger seminary at Belluno. On July 7, 1935, he was
ordained to the priesthood and sent to the small town of
Forno di Canale, near his childhood home. Albino was
delighted, and so were his parents. His father was now
working not far away near Venice.
In 1937, he was appointed vice-rector of his old
seminary in Belluno; and, in 1941, he decided to obtain
a doctorate in theology, which he obtained at the
Gregoriana (the Gregorian University in Rome), the
Papal Gregorian University, the oldest Jesuit school in
the world.
And then came World War II, and Luciani was busy
learning German, finishing up his doctorate for the
Gregoriana, as he heard confession from Hitler’s troops
and hid Italian partisans from their enemies. After de-
fending his thesis in 1946, it was published in April
1950; and Albino became a doctor of theology, having
received his degree “with highest honors” (magna cum
In 1947, Luciani was appointed pro-vicar-general of
the diocese of Belluno. Amid all his duties, he continued
to read books, think, observe the problems in the church
and the world, and ponder solutions.
Albino was an unusual cleric. He was a simple man
with a happy, warm smile, who cared about people and
their problems. Frankly, every evidence indicates that,
- 2 -
Priest and Bishop
like many others before his time, he was a Christian who
just had never discovered the deeper truths of Protes-
tantism. According to the light he had, Albino was a
genuinely good man.
In 1958, Pius XII died and Angelo Roncalli became
Pope John XXIII. Like Luciani, Roncalli had been a
spiritual leader of another Italian city; and he was well-
acquainted with Luciani for a special reason: Their views
were very much alike. When told that a bishop was
needed for Vitterio Veneto and the name of Luciani was
mentioned, John smiled and exclaimed, “I know him; I
know him! He will do me fine!”
Albino was ordained bishop by Pope John in St.
Peter’s Basilica on December 27, 1958. He was 46 years
old. The 400 priests, now under his authority, quickly
found him to be an extraordinary man. Anyone could
come and discuss problems; and, in order to solve them,
he would frequently let the priests hold a meeting and
make a majority decision which he would ratify, even
though he sometimes did not agree with it.
He refused a splendidly furnished apartment in town,
but chose to live in humbler quarters. Instead of the
garments of a bishop, Luciani dressed in the clothes of a
priest and spent part of his time going about town visit-
ing hospitals, prisons, and finding poor people that
needed help.
Less than three weeks after Luciani became a bishop,
Pope John announced to the world that he was going to
convene a worldwide council. It would be held in Rome
and would be called Vatican II. As a bishop, it was
Luciani’s duty to attend every meeting. At Vatican II,
Albino learned the remarkable new doctrine of “religious
liberty.” Prior to this time, canon law specified that reli-
gious liberty meant the right to believe Catholicism, and
nothing else. But, at Vatican II, non-catholics were told
they could believe some other things instead!
At the Council, which began on October 11, 1962,
Priest and Bishop
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
2,381 bishops from around the world gathered as John
opened the Second Vatican Council. During its three
sessions (which finally ended on December 8, 1965),
Luciani had the opportunity to personally meet and talk
with bishops from various parts of the world. These
contacts were later to prove invaluable. Kindred minds
from Europe and other continents were discovered.
John XXIII literally gave his life for his beloved
project. He refused to have an operation which might
have prolonged his life. Instead, he said he must remain
in attendance with the First Session of Vatican II, lest
hard-line conservatives destroy it. He died after comple-
tion of that session; but his successor, Paul VI, deter-
mined to continue it on.
An incident occurred in August 1962, a few months
before the start of the Second Session of Vatican II,
which reveals the integrity of Albino. He learned that two
priests in his diocese had become involved in a property
transaction which involved a loss to the diocese of more
than 2 million lire. Normally, church leaders handled
such problems in a very simple manner; they refused to
pay and innocent people suffered as a result. (That,
apparently, was the Roman Catholic equivalent of filing
bankruptcy: Just don’t pay your bills.) But Luciani called
all his priests together and told them that the diocese
would sell ecclesiastical treasure and one of its build-
ings—and pay every lira that was owed. Throughout Italy,
there were those in the church who ridiculed the naïveté
of such honest scruples.
Albino Luciani carefully read through the liberalizing
Vatican II documents, and immediately implemented
them. In Luciani’s thinking, he was personally free to
think as he pleased; but, when the pope made a state-
ment, Luciani would fully back it. He had been taught
that the pope and the councils must unquestionably be
obeyed when either speaks. We have a different view of
the matter, but we must remember that Albino had a
different background. When not bound about by church
edicts, Luciani was known to make very fair, good deci-
sions. Because of his obedience to the pope, he contin-
ued to rise in the church.
After Vatican II ended, Paul VI had to face the birth-
control crisis. A commission was appointed to study the
matter. Of the 68 members of the commission from all
over the world, only four favored the traditional Catholic
view (Pius XII, 1951) of “no birth control other than the
rhythm method.” It was well-known that the vast major-
ity of Catholic priests, church members, and medical
doctors opposed Pius’ view and instead favored birth
control. The 68 favored this liberal view also. After they
made their decision on April 23, 1966, they submitted
their report, went home, and awaited the forthcoming
announcement by the pope ratifying their decision favor-
ing birth control. But a small clique in the Vatican deter-
mined to maintain the old position. Without going into
the details, they arranged matters carefully and then put
immense pressure on the pope to accede to their de-
Paul VI finally caved in on July 25, 1968, when he
published his decretal, Humanae Vitae. The Catholic
world was astounded, and so was Luciani. He had per-
sonally sent a well-written paper on the subject to the
pope; but, as soon as Paul VI’s decision was announced,
Luciani backed it anyway. Paul liked that; and, when the
patriarch of Venice died in September 1969, Luciani was
offered the job. Surprisingly, he turned it down. He was
quite content to minister to the needy in Vittorio Veneto.
The pope wavered until December 15, 1969, and then
told Luciani he had to take the job anyway.
Albino Luciani was now a leading Roman Catholic
official. But, except for official meetings demanding the
dress of a bishop, he continued to dress like the com-
mon priests. This was not some self-imposed humility,
but his simple, economical way of doing things. In fact,
Priest and Bishop
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
he would not even purchase a new robe very often, but
would get others to sew on those he had.
Paul VI told his undersecretary of state, Giovanni
Benelli, to make friends with Luciani and learn what he
was like. Benelli did so, and a close friendship followed.
On February 8, 1970, Albino Luciani entered Venice
as its new patriarch. But Venice hardly knew what to
make of him. He refused the customary entrance grand
procession, lived simply, and spent his time helping
priests and people, and visiting the sick. The populace
learned that—at any time—they could come unan-
nounced to his office and find help. Soon he was be-
sieged, and many folk were helped.
In 1971, Paul VI asked him to attend the World Synod
of Bishops. While there, he suggested that all the
wealthier local churches in the world should pay one
percent of their income to help the poorer churches.
Many bishops were shocked at the thought, and the idea
came to nothing.
“Sindona continued to operate with the aid of the Vatican.
Like when, for instance, the head of the IOR [the Vatican’s
Institute for Religious Works], Bishop Marcinkus, suggested to
him that he should buy the Vatican’s interest in La Centrale
Finanziaria Generale and resell it to the Banco Ambrosiano of
Milan, the focus of an impending scandal of the eighties.
“Or when Marcinkus convinced the pope to compel the
Patriarch of Venice to sell his controlling interest in the Banca
Cattolica del Veneto, a local Venitian bank, to Sindona who
then resold it to the Banco Ambrosiano, where the Vatican
had already substantial shares to partially control it.
“These, and similar operations, impressed not only the
Head of Economic Affiairs for the Vatican, but also the pope
himself. The latter was so satisfied with Sindona, that in one of
his rare moments of enthusiasm he called Sindona his ‘very
own financial little fox.’ ”—Avro Manhattan, The Vatican Bil-
lions, pp. 218-219.
Matters became more ominous in mid-1972. There
was a bank in Venice called “the priest’s bank.” Church
workers could there obtain low-interest loans; and,
because the priests had confidence in it, many of the
people put their money in that bank also. Over the years
it had helped the priests and was making a profit. Many
workers as well as the public had shares in its stock that
they could sell when they became older.
But suddenly Luciani was besieged by priests and
people who had lost their investments—and often most
of their life savings—through a bank swindle operation
which involved selling their bank to an outside party, at
immense loss on their part.
What had happened? Luciani began investigating and
learned this: Since 1946, the Vatican Bank held a major-
ity share (51 percent) in this bank in Venice (the Banca
Cattolica del Veneto). This bank, which had been doing
well financially, had only recently been secretly sold by
Paul Marcinkus, president of the Vatican Bank, to
Roberto Calvi, of the Banco Ambrosiano, in Milan.
(The official name of this financial structure is the
Istituto per Opere di Religione [The Institute for Reli-
gious Works], or the IOR. But, in order to simplify this
presentation, we will refer to it by its more common
- 3 -
Luciani Discovers
Vatican BAnk
Luciani Discovers Vatican Bank
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
name: the Vatican Bank.)
But this operation involved still more. Marcinkus not
only secretly sold the bank without informing any of the
Venetian shareholders, but the profit was almost entirely
divided between his Vatican Bank and a couple other
men (Calvi and Sindona; more on them later).
Luciani kept probing and learned far more. It was
clear that, somehow, Marcinkus had gained an almost-
hypnotic control over Paul VI. Whatever Marcinkus
wanted to do he went ahead and did, unhindered by the
pope or Vatican officials. What was happening down in
Rome? Were high-level kickbacks being distributed
throughout Vatican officialdom?
It was to his close friend, Cardinal Benelli, that
Luciani went for his best information. Benelli was second
only to Cardinal Villot in the Vatican Secretariat of State,
and openly opposed to Marcinkus. (In 1977, Benelli was
to be maneuvered out of the Vatican, by his enemies, and
made cardinal of Florence.)
Paul Marcinkus, Roberto Calvi, and Michele Sindona
seemed to be at the heart of the problem. Regarding that
bank in Venice, the three of them had worked out an
arrangement whereby Marcinkus quietly sold the bank to
Calvi at a deliberately low price of 27 billion lire (US
$46.5 million), and later profits from its resale were split
by Sindona, Calvi, and Marcinkus on behalf of the
Vatican Bank.
Benelli also told Luciani of Pacchetti (a company
which was purchased by Sindona, then rigged so its
stock on the Milan exchange was criminally inflated and
then sold to Calvi) who then dumped the stock, making
immense profits which were shared with Sindona and
Marcinkus. That and other illegal business transactions
were successfully carried out only because Marcinkus
had let them use his Vatican Bank facilities to mask the
transactions. Italian banking officials could not easily
check into Vatican Bank transactions, since a special
deal, worked out between Mussolini and the pope in
1929 (the Treaty of the Lateran), made the Vatican a
separate nation.
Benelli counseled Luciani to have patience, since
workers such as themselves did not have the authority to
stop these criminal activities—and Pope Pius VI refused
to do so. It was Benelli’s hope that eventually Italian
banking officials would catch and convict Marcinkus and
his associates.
The fact that Albino did not start an insurrection in
Venice over the matter pleased the pope; and, in March
1973, Paul VI made him a cardinal.
Two months later, in May, representatives of the FBI
and U.S. Department of Justice went to Rome.
It all started back in New York City when a routine
investigation uncovered something very unusual. A net-
work of Mafia dons in the United States had produced a
package of $14.5 million in counterfeit American bonds.
These had been sent to Rome in July 1971. The evidence
was clear enough that this package went to the Vatican
Bank. Someone in the Vatican had ordered millions in
fake bonds to be sent to them!
Because this was an international operation, both the
FBI and Justice Department became involved in what
began as an investigation by New York City police.
Checking it out carefully, several more facts were
uncovered: (1) The $14.5 million shipment was only the
down payment on what would eventually total $950
million in counterfeit bonds! (2) The shipment was
ordered by Bishop Paul Marcinkus, head of the Vatican
At that point in the investigation, Mario Foligni was
arrested and he confessed and told the investigators even
more. He revealed this: (1) Earlier in Rome, he had
avoided arrest because of his Vatican connections. In one
instance, the police opened his safe and found a signed
blessing from Pope Paul VI, addressed to Foligni. Upon
Luciani Discovers Vatican Bank
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
reading it, the Italian police apologized and immediately
departed. (2) Foligni was the go-between that got Leopold
Ledl, an Austrian, in contact with Marcinkus. Working
with the Mafia, Ledl arranged with Marcinkus for the
$950 million bond purchase. (3) The plan was for the
Vatican Bank to work through intermediaries to sell the
worthless bonds, with the profits being divided: $485
million going to the Mafia, a “commission” of $150 mil-
lion going to the Vatican, and the profits from the bond
also going to the Vatican. These sale profits would be
extensive, since the bonds had a face value of nearly $1
billion! (4) The American Mafia could not believe that the
Vatican was willing to work with them on criminal finan-
cial operations, until Ledl showed them signed letters
from the Vatican with Sacra Congregaziione Dei
Religiosi on the letterhead. It was when some of those
documents got into New York City police hands that
Washington, D.C. was called in on the case. (5) Leaders
in the Mafia were thrilled. Because the Vatican was an
independent nation inside another, it could pull off jobs
that no one else could do! All paper trails would stop at
the gates of the Vatican. No government, no police in the
world had the power to penetrate those gates—without
declaring war on the Vatican! (6) In order to be sure that
the procedure would work all right, Marcinkus arranged
for two trial bond sales to be carried out; the first, in
July 1971, for $1.5 million to the Handelsbank in Zur-
ich and the second, in September, for $2.5 million at the
Banco di Roma. Both sales went well.
Everything was going exactly as planned! The sup-
posed U.S. bonds had been successfully processed by
European banks! Now it was time for the immense $950
million swindle operation to be carried out.
But at this juncture a problem developed. Both the
Zurich and Rome banks had sent samples of the bonds
to the Banker’s Association in New York City for routine
examination. The falsity of the bonds was quickly recog-
That brings us back to our story. On April 25, 1973,
William Lynch, chief of the Organized Crime and Rack-
eteering Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (and
himself a dedicated Roman Catholic); William Aronwald,
Assistant Strike Force Chief of the Southern District of
New York; and two FBI agents (Biamonte and Tammaro)
arrived in the Vatican and asked to speak with Cardinal
Benelli in the offices of the Vatican Secretariat of State.
Benelli referred them to two of his aides, with whom
they discussed the entire problem, showing them the
letterhead and some of the bonds. The next day they
spoke briefly with Marcinkus himself. But, beyond that,
they accomplished nothing. The Vatican was an age-old
stone wall and, because it was a totally separate foreign
nation, there was no way they could penetrate beyond the
conversation level.
Theirs had been a delicate assignment, and they
approached it with care. They had hoped for some re-
sponse, indicating the matter would immediately be dealt
with. But they received only “we’ll pass the news along,”
on the first day, and only unconcerned denials on the
They did, however, learn from Marcinkus himself, as
he sat before them puffing on a large cigar, that he had
sole and complete control of the Vatican Bank, directed
all its activities, and was answerable only to the pope
himself as to how he handled all financial matters. He
gave them that information, only as an introduction to
his defense that he “had enemies” in the Vatican who
wanted to get him out, and they had probably set this
thing up to get him in trouble. New York and Washington
authorities had too many facts to buy that. By this time,
Ledl had also been arrested and he had confirmed every-
thing that Foligni said. In addition, there were those
Vatican documents and related data.
Foligni had also told the investigators that Marcinkus
Luciani Discovers Vatican Bank
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
needed the fake bonds so he and Sindona could pur-
chase Bastogi, a giant Italian chemical, mining, and
property corporation, based in Milan where Sindona had
his offices.
In addition, the American investigators learned that
Marcinkus personally held massive amounts of money in
private numbered accounts in the Bahamas, to which he
made deposits when he went on frequent vacation trips.
Since 1971 he had been on the board of directors of
Banco Ambrosiano Overseas in Nassau (Bahamas),
invited there by Sindona and Calvi. Because they could
use Marcinkus’ name and Vatican Bank cover, both men
had made so much money on business deals that, in
gratitude, they gave Marcinkus and the Vatican Bank 2.5
percent of the Nassau bank stock. This was later raised
to 8 percent. Marcinkus was personally worth millions.
Back in Venice, Luciani continued to work with the
people, trying to help them. On one occasion, a group of
young priests banded together in order to cause trouble
over a Vatican-edicted doctrine. Luciani solved it by
discharging the two priests in the heart of it. The entire
group immediately fell apart. This was one of Luciani’s
methods: Eliminate a troublesome group by getting rid of
the key men in it. He was later to try to use that same
method in the Vatican—but, unfortunately, he was to tell
someone about 18 hours too soon.
In 1974, Michele Sindona’s financial empire crashed;
and with it several banks failed in Italy, Switzerland,
Germany, and the United States. Large numbers of
people lost their life savings because of Sindona. The
Italian press reported that the Vatican Bank itself lost
over $100 million. Having fled Europe, the Italian au-
thorities sentenced him in absentia to prison; yet, at that
time and thereafter, Sindona continued on as a key figure
in Vatican Bank transactions.
From the best that we can tell, earlier in his life when
he was Archbishop Montini in Milan, Paul VI had met
Michele Sindona, who had done something for him—gifts
of money or something similar—which, through threat of
blackmail, had brought him under Sindona’s control.
When he became pope, Sindona came into the Vatican as
financial adviser; and Marcinkus, Paul’s personal aide,
was placed in charge of the Vatican Bank. The rest is
Among knowledgeable Vatican observers, Paul
Marcinkus was known as the “Gorilla,” and Michele
Sindona the “shark.” Both got their start in the Vatican
in 1968, the same year that Paul VI decreed Humanae
Vitae, the encyclical which turned most of the world
church against him.
Back in Venice, Luciani was trying to raise money for
a school for handicapped youth that he had supported
for several years. All Venice was shocked when he an-
nounced that he was going to sell the treasures in the
Venetian Cardinal’s office and put the money into the
handicapped school. This included diamonds, the bejew-
eled cross and gold chain of Pius XII which Pope John
gave Luciani when he made him a bishop. He also in-
tended to sell a chest cross and gold chain and ring
belonging to Pope John, which Paul VI had given him.
With his thoughts on what was happening inside the
Vatican, Luciani concluded that particular letter of an-
nouncement with this quotation from Sandhu Singh:
“One day I was sitting on the banks of a river. I took
from the sand a round stone and I broke it. Inside, it was
perfectly dry. That stone had been lying in the water for a
very long time but the water had not penetrated it. Then
I thought that the same thing happened to men in Eu-
rope. For centuries they have been surrounded by Chris-
tianity but Christianity has not penetrated, does not live
within them.”
Luciani knew what so many other people in the
Catholic Church did not know; he was biding his time . .
Luciani Discovers Vatican Bank
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
“Being a candidate in a papal election is per-
haps the most unusual thing that can happen to a
leader . . The fundamental rule is to stay out of the
spotlight. Everything has to be said in velvety, allu-
sive language, molded by centuries of diplomacy.
People feel each other out in an arcane pas de
deux where they never mention the issues. Hya-
cinth Thiandoum, the cardinal of Dakar, has de-
scribed the meeting he had in a Roman Convent
with the Patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani, just one
day before the opening of the August conclave.
“ ‘My Patriarch,’ Thiandoum said when supper
was over and the nuns were bringing in the coffee.
“ I am the patriarch of Venice,’ Luciani replied.
“ ‘We’re waiting for you,’ the African cardinal
“ ‘That’s none of my business,’ the future pope
concluded.”—Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, His
Holiness: John Paul II and the Hidden History of
Our Time, pp. 157-158.
At 9:40 a.m. on Sunday, August 6, 1978, Pope Paul VI
Hard-lined traditionalists in the Vatican had, during
Paul’s reign, done everything they could to stonewall his
efforts to carry out the liberalization decreed in the
Vatican II documents. Upon his death, they were deter-
mined to get a hard-liner into office as the next pope.
This minority in the Roman Curia, in one early meeting
with only 32 cardinals present, managed to get a maxi-
mum time delay approved. It was agreed that the 111
cardinals from around the world would not go into con-
clave to elect the next pope until August 25, a delay of 21
days—one day short of the maximum possible.  During
that time, they hoped to win as many cardinals as pos-
sible over to their side. But they found this much harder
to do than they had at first expected.
During that interval, the press around the world
speculated on who would probably be the next pope. But
the guesses did not include Albino Luciani. The demand
in Italy was for an “Italian pope,” but the cardinals out-
side of Europe were more interested in finding someone
who was both kindly and more liberal,—and they did not
expect to find him in Italy. Before leaving Venice for the
conclave, Luciani had decided he would vote for Cardinal
Lorsheider, Archbishop of Fortaleza, Brazil, whom he
had spoken to at length several times in earlier years.
Lorsheider was brilliant and deeply cared for the poor in
- 4 -
The Conclave
The Conclave
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
the church. Unknown to Luciani, Lorsheider was deter-
mined to gather votes to put Luciani into the papal
During those 21 days, a number of cardinals used the
most interesting devices to attract attention to them-
selves as the ones deserving the grand election. For his
part, Luciani had a different concern. His old car had
developed engine trouble; and he told the priest, who
was his personal secretary, to be sure and get it fixed as
quickly as possible. As soon as the conclave was over, he
wanted to get back to Venice right away, for there was
much to be done there.
On August 25, he wrote his niece, Pia, “Fortunately, I
am out of danger.” Thankful he would not have to be the
next pope, the next day Luciani went to the Pauline
Chapel in the Vatican. While there, the assembled 111
cardinals held a mass and then followed the Sistine
Chapel choir as it sang a hymn to the Holy Spirit. Walk-
ing through the Sala Ducale, they entered the Sistine
Chapel. All the choir members, media, and other non-
cardinals were then asked to leave. The immense doors
slowly swung shut and the conclave began.
There just happened to be a heat wave in town, which
was not surprising; for it was mid-August in Rome.
Unfortunately the room the 111 men were in was sealed,
and they roasted. Having learned much during his pon-
tificate about Vatican subterfuge and deception several
years before, Pope Paul VI had decreed three rules about
forthcoming conclaves: (1) The room the cardinals would
be in must be totally sealed. (2) Men must be stationed
outside guarding the grounds lest someone, somehow,
hear what was going on inside or send messages in or
out. (3) No cardinal over 80 could be in the conclave to
vote for the next pope.
During preliminary meetings before the conclave
began, an angry attack on the over-80 rule was led by
several older conservatives—all of which were hard-
liners, but the cardinals voted to let stand Paul’s rules.
Another problem was how the balloting paper would be
folded during the conclave. Over one hour of discussion
and debate was given over to whether the piece of paper
should be folded once or twice. They finally voted that it
need be folded only once.
One hundred and eleven men, most of whom were
either politicking for this man or that man, or trying to
decide whose bandwagon to get on. It was more than
amusing; it was vicious as well. Exalting the name of one
man while verbally cutting down his possible rivals. On
and on it went.
As for Luciani from Venice, when mentioned at all,
the conservatives said he didn’t amount to anything. Just
a cardinal who had never traveled anywhere, knew no
foreign languages, and didn’t know very much. In reality
Albino Luciani was fluent in German, French, Portu-
guese, and English. He had many friends among cardi-
nals around the world, and had traveled overseas. He
was a close friend of Phillip Potter, secretary of the World
Council of Churches, and also with Hans Kung, the
notorious Catholic liberal theologian who spent his time
telling the Vatican what was wrong with the Church.
(Fortunately for him, few knew about his Kung friend-
The conclave had begun. It was Saturday morning,
August 26, 1978, and time for the first ballot.
It is of interest that Wojtyla of Poland (later to become
Pope John Paul II) received a few votes on the first ballot.
But what was astounding—especially to Luciani—was
that he himself had received the second highest number
of votes—and on the first ballot! (Siri 25, Luciani 23,
Pignedoli 18, Lorscheider 12, Baggio 9, etc.).
Benelli, Suenens, Marty, and others had quietly net-
worked cardinals from all over the world to vote for
Luciani. And yet, up to the counting of the first ballot,
Luciani knew nothing of it. Even Wojtyla, of Cracow, was
The Conclave
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
in the Luciani voting caucus.
The second ballot was Siri 35, Luciani 30, Pignedoli
15, Lorscheider 12, with the rest mixed here and there.
The voting cards from the first two ballots were then
burned. The smoke went up the chimney; but, since it
had not been cleaned for years, the smoke went back
down into the sealed room—and the choking men had to
throw open the doors and rush out into the temporary
canteen while outside doors were opened to clear the air
inside the Sistine Chapel. Paul VI would have been un-
happy; his rule was being violated.
It was now time for lunch, and Luciani only picked at
his food. He was worried. But he was also thinking.
During the two-hour lunch break, the cardinals were
busy holding caucuses, buttonholing fellow cardinals and
winning them over. The foreigners wanted an overseas
pope, but knew they could not get one; it was not likely
they would vote in Lorscheider. All the possibilities were
considered, and it was clear that Luciani was the best
In contrast, the rightists saw they could not get Siri
elected, so they decided that Luciani would be best be-
cause they could probably control him after he became
pope. He seemed like such a simple, modest soul. But
there were those who objected. They said that Luciani
was more like Pope John than anyone else! Those men
were right.
Luciani himself went to his room and prayed. His
thoughts now were what he should do if he were elected.
All he had ever wanted was to be a parish priest, and he
was on the verge of becoming the most powerful man in
the Roman Catholic Church.
It works that way sometimes. The electors fear the
men who want the job and search for the man more
concerned for upholding principles than holding on to
any job.
At 4 p.m., the cardinals went back to the Sistine
Chapel. The smoke was gone, and the beautiful paintings
by Michelangelo did not look too smudged. It was time
for the third ballot:
Luciani 68, Siri 15, Pignedoli 10. The remaining 18
votes were scattered. That was it. Albino Luciani was
within 7 votes of the papacy.
Tension arose as the fourth ballot was taken:
Luciani 99, Siri 11, Lorscheider 1 (Luciani’s vote). It
was 6:05 p.m. Immense applause filled the room. A
chapel door opened and Cardinal Jean Villot, Vatican
Secretary of State, entered. Walking over to Luciani, he
spoke in a tone to be heard throughout the room: “Do
you accept your canonical election as supreme pontiff?”
The Conclave
“He chose his own papal name, John Paul, in honor
of John XXIII, who made him bishop, and Paul VI, who
made him cardinal . . The “Smiling Pope,” as he was
called, offended nobody but was nobody’s man, appar-
ently. The perfect compromise [between contending
papal factions].”—Malachi Martin, The Keys of this Blood,
p. 610.
“The almost instant election of Pope John Paul I on
August 26 seemed a genuine miracle, though it had
backstage asistance from the powerful curial Cardinals
Sebastiano Baggio and Pericle Felici. In barely four bal-
lots a compromise had been worked out between the
most reform-minded cardinals, who wanted a ‘pasto-
ral’ pope unfettered by the curial power structure, and
more tradition-inclined cardinals, who demanded ab-
solute guarantees of orthodoxy. Albino Luciani, the pa-
triarch of Venice, had been the ideal man for such a
trade-off.”—Carl Bernstein and Marco Politi, His Holiness:
John Paul II and the Hidden History of Our Time, p. 155.
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
Luciani did accept. When asked what his new name
would be, he smiled and said, “John Paul the First.”
From this point onward, everything that the new pope
did seemed to be different. Never before in papal history
had a pope chosen two names, and never had one called
himself “the first.” He apparently wished to combine the
best traits of both Pope John XXIII and Paul VI, and
perhaps those of the Biblical John and Paul as well.
Now the burning of the ballots must take place and a
chemical was added which would turn the smoke white,
indicating to the waiting crowd in the square of St.
Peter’s Church nearby that a new pope had been chosen.
By now the chimney had been cleaned, but the chemical
did not work right. White smoke came out, which quickly
turned dark, and then a dull gray. Everyone outside was
puzzled. At 7:18 p.m., the new pope appeared on the
balcony. The loudspeakers sounded everywhere: “I bring
you news of great joy! We have a Pope!”
Most of the people did not recognize him, but they
saw that kindly smile and were deeply impressed by it.
It was Saturday, August 26, 1978.
The next morning, August 27, marked the first day of
his reign. The new pope gathered the cardinals together
for a thanksgiving mass. Villot, the Secretary of State,
and one of the old guard at the Vatican had thoughtfully
brought a prepared speech for the new puppet pope to
intone. But, as he would do throughout his papacy,
- 5 -
A New Pope
Luciani waved it aside and gave his own. With no notes,
he said that he would stand by the teachings of Vatican
II, that he wanted to share power with the bishops, revise
the two codes of canon law, and pursue union with other
denominations. —All that in one speech, and only the
first day of his pontificate! A shudder went through the
old guard.
At noon the new pope went out on the balcony of the
basilica, as he had done the day before. Below him were
200,000 people in St. Peter’s square. He spoke to them
as a smiling, warm friend.
That evening he had supper with Cardinal Jean Villot
and asked him to continue, at least for a while, as secre-
tary of state. He had also decided to keep all the old
Vatican officials in office for a time. That decision regard-
ing Villot and his Vatican henchmen was to become the
biggest mistake of Albino Luciani’s life.
That same evening, he instructed Villot to immedi-
ately begin an investigation into the Vatican Bank and
the entire financial operations of the Vatican. That was to
be another mistake; frankly, an even bigger one! Luciani
should have waited until the old guard were out and new
men—his men—were in power in the Vatican.
Thus ended his first day.
On the fifth day of his reign (August 31), Italy’s lead-
ing economic journal, Il Mondo, published an open letter
to the new pope, which discussed the scandals about the
Vatican Bank, so well-known in Rome, and asked
whether he was going to do anything about it.
One can hardly grasp the immensity of the problem
that Luciani faced. He was willing to take on—frankly,
single-handedly to begin with—the corruption within the
Vatican. That corruption was massive, many-headed, and
thoroughly entrenched.
But most dangerous of all was the financial corrup-
tion. To simplify matters, we will here only overview the
financial wheeling and dealing. Only the briefest of out-
A New Pope
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
lines can be given. To say much more would require a
small book of detailed analyses. Entire books have been
written on this subject, and we would refer you to them
for more information. Avro Manhatten’s books are excel-
lent, also David Yallop’s landmark, In God’s Name.
(Bantam Books, 1984).
In order to properly evaluate the great danger in
which Luciani was placing his life by his determination
to investigate fully and clean up Vatican finances, we
should be aware of at least a bare minimum of facts. In
the next chapter, we will consider these.
“It seems likely that, apart from the transfer of
funds to aid Solidarity and other Vatican ventures
such as those in El Salvador and Nicaragua, also
emerging [in the Italian Government financial in-
vestigations] will be the Vatican Bank’s close deal-
ings with the Mafia, centering around the colorful
former drugs racketeer, Michele Sindona, close
friend of Pope Paul VI, and with the P2 Masonic
Lodge Grand Master Lucio Gelli. The P2 Lodge con-
nection is deeply embarrassing to the Roman
Church. The influential P2, regarded by mainstream
Freemasonry as something of a renegade, was
expelled from Italian Masonry three years before
the scandal broke. How was it then that the Vatican
was so deeply involved with it?”—Michael de Sem-
lyen, All Roads Lead to Rome? p. 72.
When Mussolini and the pope signed the Lateran
Treaty in 1929, giving 108.7 acres of land to the papacy
as a separate nation (Vatican City), Mussolini also gave
the pope 750 million lire and millions in Italian State
bonds. At that time worth $81 million, it would today be
worth closer to $500 million.
Mussolini did all this to ensure full cooperation by
the Vatican with his fascist programs. Four years later, in
1933, the Vatican concluded a second major treaty, this
one with Hitler. As a result, money flowed to the Vatican
through the German “church tax” (Kirchensteuer, which
the German government continues to pay today). That
second treaty assured quiet Catholic support to Hitler’s
Nazi Party activities. Both rulers solemnly assured Pope
Pius XI that, by the extension of their borders, they
would bring all Europe under Catholic control. It is of
interest that no pope ever excommunicated either of the
Church’s two sons, Hitler and Mussolini. (Even Hitler’s
invasion of Catholic Poland was never condemned.)
The Vatican put this inflow of money into a wide
variety of investments, which produced large profits. Part
of the profit came from the fact that the Church cared
not what the investments might be: stocks in munition
- 6 -
The Vatican
The Vatican Financiers
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
factories or birth-control devices; Protestant, Muslim, or
atheist business firms. All that mattered was profit.
Millions in gold bars were purchased from the U.S. at
$35 an ounce and then re-sold overseas for enormous
But, to avoid paying taxes on those profits, it was
invested by the Vatican through new, tax-exempt “ecclesi-
astical corporations.” In 1942, the Mussolini’s Italian
government confirmed that such a tax-exempt status
would apply to Vatican stock dividends. The Vatican had
become the biggest tax shelter in Italy! Properties and
corporations all over the world invested in it.
But, after Mussolini’s time, the Italian government
gradually tried to begin taxing Vatican profits. Disputes
about this continued on for years with, at one point
(June 1964), the Vatican threatening to dump all its
stock shares all at once onto the Italian market—which
would bankrupt the nation! This separate government
was using the investment and banking system of all Italy
to rake in huge profits which were carried into the
Vatican State. Yet it wanted to pay the Italian government
nothing in taxes. This finally brought the Vatican to
something of a crisis in 1969, when it was clear that the
Vatican had lost the battle to avoid paying Italian taxes
for what it was doing in Italy.
It was seen that money and holdings needed to be
moved out of Italy, even though such a massive exodus of
funds might ruin the country. The Vatican cared not for
the welfare of the citizens of its parent nation; it was the
money it was after.
There is an organization which, the Bible says, seeks
to change the laws of God. History reveals that it cares
not for the laws of men either.
Someone was needed in the Vatican to oversee these
and other problems, and Paul Marcinkus was selected as
the man to lead out in doing it. A Chicago boy,
Marcinkus was to become the most powerful American
in the Vatican. Six-foot-three, with great physical
strength, the young priest had been sent to Rome by
Cardinal Stritch, since Marcinkus was fluent in three
languages: English, Spanish, and Italian. Stritch thought
he could be of help to the Vatican. The short, thin little
Pope Paul VI was impressed with him, and Marcinkus
became his personal translator and bodyguard.
The Vatican Financiers
“The involvement of leading members of the Ro-
man Curia in secret societies, including P2 and the
other Masonic Lodges, was revealed to Pope John
Paul I, by the Italian newsagency L-Osservatore
Politico, shortly before his untimely and mysterious
death in September 1978.”—Michael de Semlyen,
All Roads Lead to Rome? p. 73.
“According to the Sunday Observer, it [the Banco
Ambrosiano fraud trial] will throw light on how a stag-
gering 800 million lire vanished leading to the worst
bank crash in post-war Europe: ‘How deeply was
the Holy See and its Polish Pope [John Paul II] in-
volved, and why State investigators now believe that
nearly 100 million lire was smuggled into Warsaw
to help the Solidarity struggle and this is certain to
be raised at the trial.’ ”—Michael de Semlyen, All
Roads Lead to Rome? p. 72.
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
 Casting about for someone to manage their gigantic
bank, the cigar-chewing Marcinkus was placed in charge
of the Vatican Bank by Paul VI In 1967, even though he
protestingly admitted, “I know absolutely nothing about
banking!” Fortunately, the pope gave him friends to teach
Throughout his life, Giovanni Montini was the type to
rely heavily on his friends to solve his problems. If you
remember that sentence, you can understand Paul VI.
Before becoming Pope Paul VI, Montini had been arch-
bishop of Milan. While in Milan he made a number of
new friends; and, when he was elected pope, he took a
sizeable group of them to Rome, there to become finan-
cial advisers and workers in the Vatican Bank and lead-
ers in the Curia. (The quietly expressed nickname they
were to acquire among knowledgeable Romans was “the
Milan Mafia.” As we shall soon learn, the term had a lot
of substance to it.)
One was a priest, Pasquale Macchi. Macchi thereafter
worked in the Vatican Banks and, although his name
does not surface very often, he was one of the men super-
vising the large number of illegal business transactions
that later occurred.
Another man was Michele Sindona. Born in Sicily,
Sindona had three special qualities: (1) An excellant
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ability to work with, and shuffle around, numbers and
money. (2) Close friends in the Mafia (the real Mafia!
Sindona was Sicilian as they were; this made for close
working relationships). (3) A remarkable capacity for
inventing new types of financial crime.
In 1959, Sindona gave Montini some money to help
on a church project. (The money is now known to have
come from a Mafia fund.) From that time onward,
Montini leaned on him as a key financial assistant. When
Montini became Pope Paul VI, he continued to look to
Sindona as the man who could suggest solutions to those
in charge of the Vatican Bank.
A third man was Roberto Calvi. He had been intro-
duced to Marcinkus by Sindona in 1971. These two men
became the primary tutors of the man who had admitted
his ignorance of banking procedures.
Three others were Massimo Spada, administrative
secretary to the Vatican Bank; Luigi Mennini, secretary-
inspector of the Vatican Bank; and Carlo Bordani.
These were the uomini di fiducia (men of trust) se-
lected by Paul VI, to advise and manage the affairs of the
Vatican Bank.
One other man who would soon after enter the pic-
ture was Licio Gelli.  Introduced through Cardinal
Bertoli, Gelli became good friends with Marcinkus and
had a number of audiences with Paul VI. Gelli was a
master of blackmail; and, through a secret society which
he organized, called P2, he gained control over 2,500 top
business, political, and church leaders in Italy alone and
thousands more throughout Europe and South America.
He used his contacts to aid him in a number of unsavory
As soon as Marcinkus was placed in charge of the
Vatican Bank, the pope, conferring with the now Cardinal
Sergio Guerri, decided to unload from the Italian portfo-
lio a major asset: the Vatican’s share in the giant Societa
General Immobiliare, which was the largest concrete and
Investments by the Holy Day
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
construction firm in Italy. But that was only to be a start;
much more activity was needed.
They sent for Sindona; it was felt that only he could
solve their financial puzzles and give wise counsel as to
how best the Vatican Bank should invest its monies. So
Michele Sindona, already head of a Mafia-infested net-
work of criminal business operations in Italy and Swit-
zerland, kindly offered to solve their problems.
Here is a quick, quick glance at some of what fol-
lowed. To say too much would be to write a book, to say
too little would be confusing to understand. The problem
in the following presentation will be to say just enough to
give you an indication of all that was far deeper: a crimi-
nal financial operation that spread its tentacles world-
wide! And all of it was possible only because Marcinkus
and his associates would permit the Vatican Bank to be
used as a cover. Any financial deal worked through the
Vatican Bank instantly became safe, since Vatican State
was an independent nation and no investigators any-
where could penetrate financial crime in another nation
without that nation’s governmental permission.
Yes, it is true that investigators might be sent to prowl
around through another country in the hope of ferreting
out facts,—but how do you do it when the nation is only
108.7 acres in size, guarded by gates and walls on all
sides, and the smallest independent state in the world!
Using his connections with the Vatican Bank to im-
press businessmen and financiers, Sindona borrowed
money and bought banks. Why banks? It is an intriguing
fact that the easiest way to rob a bank is to buy it. That
is the great truth that the crooks in America in the 1980s
learned in the 1960s and 1970s from the Vatican.
Then, after buying it, use the bank for a variety of
criminal activities. Associates of the Vatican Bank did
this so flagrantly—and successfully—in nearly a dozen
nations from the late 1960s onward, that Americans
finally caught on to the same techniques. The S&L (Sav-
ings and Loans) and bank scandals of the 1980s fol-
lowed. The Vatican techniques had been learned well.
Working through Spada and Marcinkus at the Vatican
Bank, Sindona was soon sitting on the boards of 21
banks and companies. His initial co-sponsors and co-
owners included the Gambino and Inzerillo families in
the Mafia. The CIA file on Sindona was later to reveal
that, through his Gambino connections, Sindona was
involved with four other Mafia families: Colombo,
Bonanno, Lucchese, and Genovese. But, without Vatican
Bank cover for his operations he could not have had the
success he had. The Vatican Bank needed him because of
his genius with numbers; the Mafia needed him because
of Paul VI’s dependent relationship to him.
In February 1965, Sindona started an international
brokerage house, Moneyrex. The records were rewritten
so that most of the profits were not reported for tax
purposes. In Sindona’s banks, massive theft occurred.
The staff transferred money from the depositors, without
their knowledge, into the Vatican Bank. None of this
could have been done without Vatican awareness of what
was taking place. More than mere knowledge, we have
here active cooperation! The Vatican Bank took out 15
percent commission on the money passing through, and
then transferred the money back to Sindona’s account at
his Finabank in Geneva.
Gigantic stock market speculations were carried on;
the profits went to Sindona through Vatican Bank and
the losses to the depositors of Liberfinco, another
Sindona Swiss bank.
In those instances in which the sickening process
seemed too much for Sindona’s assistants, blackmail
was applied and they would be threatened with exposure
and arrest if they tried to get out. The few who did not
henceforth give their hearty cooperation were rubbed
Sindona was a genius at solving problems. His solu-
Investments by the Holy Day
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
tions involved complex financial manipulations which
are difficult to grasp, yet were generally successful,
always criminal, and usually involved Vatican Bank cover
at some point in the transactions.
Vatican Bank became a wonderful wringer washer.
Documents, purchases, sales, invoices, contracts, and
deeds could be sent into Vatican State, and then come
back out freshly laundered. Washed, ironed, and folded,
they were ready for Sindona and Mafia use again.
Sindona operated a network for the illegal flight of
currency from his Italian banks, through the Vatican
Bank to Swiss banks they jointly owned.
From 1968 onward, the Vatican Bank’s partners,
Sindona and Calvi, so controlled the Milan Stock Ex-
change that they regularly drove the stock prices up and
down at will, so they could collect through the buying
and selling of shares.
It was through Sindona, Calvi, Spada, and Marcinkus
working together that the Banca Cattolica del Veneto
(the “priest’s bank” in Venice, mentioned earlier) was
sold to Calvi for $46.5 million. At the same time, the
Milan stock market was conveniently moved around so
the sale price of that bank would be unrealistic. So much
profit was made on that particular deal that Sindona
paid Calvi and Marcinkus an illegal kickback of $6.5
million, which they shared 50-50. Yet, through Sindona’s
magic ways with numbers, it all looked like a sales loss
so the Venetian stockholders would be on the losing end.
Another Sindona/Vatican Bank criminal technique
was double invoicing. Goods exported out of Italy would
be invoiced at costs far below what they really were. A
copy of this bogus invoice would be given to the Bank of
Italy, which would pass it on to Italian Department of
Revenue, which would then charge Sindona/Vatican Bank
a very low export tax. Profits from this were large, al-
though not as immense as the bank raids and stock and
bond swindles.
Imported items were given false invoices showing
much higher costs than the actual figure. Payment of the
inflated amount would be made to the foreign company
which sent the excess amount to a bank in Switzerland,
owned by Sindona/Vatican Bank. In this way, extra
money could be gotten out of Italy.
On all these illegal transactions, large kickback “com-
missions” were regularly paid to the Vatican Bank. Why?
Because the transactions were illegal! If they had been
legal, Sindona would not have needed to carry them out
through the Vatican Bank. Ironically, if the man had been
honest he could have become a millionaire honestly! But
instead, he enjoyed the excitement of crime.
May the same be said for the men leading out in the
Vatican Bank?
Another Sindona/Vatican Bank technique was bribery
carried on by Sindona. He called bribes “investments,”
and leading political officials throughout Italy were
bribed to look the other way. Sindona boasted that he
“financed” the ruling Italian party, the Christian Demo-
crats. At the same time, money was given to keep on the
good side of the Italian Communist Party, in case it
might someday win a national election!
We earlier mentioned the $1 billion counterfeit securi-
ties deal, worked out by Marcinkus and Sindona, which
the U.S. government investigated and ended in April
1973; so we will again discuss them here.
Illegal dealings on the New York and American Stock
Exchanges were carried on, as well as operations in
several of the major European exchanges. Sindona’s
team would carry it out, with kickbacks to the Vatican
Bank, through whom it was covered.
In the U.S., Sindona bought the Franklin National
Bank, the 20th largest bank in the nation. He immedi-
ately applied his numbers wizardry to its deposits.
Franklin National was to become the first U.S. bank
since the 1930s depression to collapse (which it did on
Investments by the Holy Day
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
October 8, 1974). It was the biggest bank failure in U.S.
history up to that time. Before it went down, over $2
billion in federal funds from the National Reserve was
dumped into it, in a last-ditch effort to save it.
From October 1974 to January 1975, four Sindona-
controlled or linked banks in Switzerland or Germany
Calvi, introduced to Marcinkus by Sindona in 1971,
joined the select group of Vatican Bank uomini di fiducia
(men of trust). Also using the Vatican Bank as a cover,
Calvi formed a shell company in Luxembourg, called
Compendium, and then conned over 250 banks world-
wide into lending money to it. Over $450 million was to
flow through it.
Soon Calvi owned two important banks used to laun-
der money obtained illegally: a bank in Lugano, Switzer-
land (Banca del Gottardo), and Banco Ambrosiano
Overseas, in Nassau, Bahamas. From the beginning, Paul
Marcinkus sat on its board of directors. Marcinkus
regularly flew there for vacations and deposited large
amounts of money into private-numbered accounts in
that bank. This Nassau bank became very important and
became the final resting place for billions of dollars,
illegally acquired for the personal savings of certain men.
Throughout all this time, Calvi’s Banco Ambrosiano
in Milan, Italy, and the Vatican Bank had interlocking
directorates. Many of the biggest operations were jointly
conducted, to provide Vatican cover for criminal activi-
Using the Vatican Bank to cover for him, Calvi would
buy stock shares, resell them to themselves at different
prices, and sell them again on the open market. Im-
mense profits were realized which could not be traced
beyond the outer walls of Vatican City. Italian bank in-
spectors could not penetrate those walls.
In 1975 it appeared that Calvi’s bank, in Milan, might
soon go under. But creditor-confidence was quickly
restored by the fact that a certain finance house
(Teclefin) showed such confidence in Calvi’s Banco
Ambrosiano (Bank of St. Ambrose), that for four years
(1975-1978) it repeatedly bought shares in that bank—
$50 million worth, or 15 percent of the bank. Surely, if
one upstanding finance house should have that much
confidence in it, then everyone else ought to be able to
also. Teclefin apparently knew something they didn’t.
In reality, Teclefin was owned by two Liechtenstein
companies, which were owned by the Vatican Bank. What
was really happening was that Calvi was making a show
of confidence by giving money to himself! This Vatican
Bank-assisted deceit helped restore creditor confidence
for a time, but ultimately the investors lost all they had
when the bank collapsed. If they had only known it,
those Catholic investors had the Vatican Bank to thank
for their miseries.
But, by 1978, Calvi was having a difficult time trying
to save that Milan bank while satisfying the Vatican
Bank, his Mafia associates, and Gelli’s P2 accounts.
In January 1975, authorities in the U.S. Department
of Justice wanted to extradite Sindona to America to
stand trial for fraudulent activities. A routine inquiry for
additional information was sent to Milan, which provided
a 200-page report on Sindona. It was sent on to the
Ministry of Justice, in Rome, which refused to send it to
the United States. Although having one of the largest
translation departments in Italy, they said they did not
have time or enough staff to translate it into English!
Gelli’s P2 blackmail connections were paying off.
Sindona and Calvi were supporting them all, Vatican
Bank was providing cover, the Mafia gave the seed
money, and Gelli blackmailed the officials.
But not all the officials were dishonest. In April 1978,
officers from the Bank of Italy began an investigation
into Calvi’s fraudulent Banco Ambrosiano activities. This
caused its bank shares to drop in value. A solution was
Investments by the Holy Day
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
needed quickly, or Vatican Bank involvement in Calvi’s
dishonest practices would be exposed. Sindona, in New
York, was also deeply involved. Only Marcinkus could
save them now. He conveniently gave them a letter to
place in the bank’s files, dated several years earlier,
which indicated that a South American company was
Relieved, Calvi went to South America on a vacation.
Later, on January 29, 1979, Emilio Allessandrini, a
Milan magistrate was murdered soon after he opened a
new investigation into Calvi’s Banco Ambrosiano.
Earlier, in 1974, a Lugano bank (Banca del Gottardo)
with majority shares owned by the Vatican Bank, showed
indications of mismanagement and misuse of investor
funds. Bank officials conveniently blamed the Deputy
Manager, Mario Tronconi. Shortly afterward he was
found “suicided.”
In order to protect the Vatican Bank, more murders
would follow in later years.
“The Milan verdict has brought blunt accusations of com-
plicity in Calvi’s murder leveled at Marcinkus by Calvi’s
widow, who claims that her husband had told her shortly
before his death: ‘The priests want me dead.’ Marcinkus
resigned as head of the Vatican Bank, but remained under
the pope’s [John Paul II’s] protection and enjoyed Vatican
immunity. Attempts by the Italian authorities to put him on
trial with the others accused of fraud were brushed aside
by the Vatican; the Pope simply refused to hand him over.”—
Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome? p. 72.
It was now Sunday, August 27, 1978, the first day of
his papacy, Albino Luciani set to work. He instructed
Cardinal Villot, Vatican Secretary of State, to begin an
immediate investigation of every financial operation of
the Vatican. Nothing was to be excluded.
In addition, he was hinting at major reforms on a
number of other issues—both doctrines and practices—
in the Roman Catholic Church.
There was no doubt that he was the only person in
the world able to do it. The problem was that there was
only one thing his enemies could do to stop him.
When Pope John Paul I decided to reform the Vatican
finances, it should be understood that it had two banks,
not one. We have discussed the Vatican Bank. The other
one was APSA (the Administration of the Patrimony of
the Holy See) and its president, Cardinal Villot.
Funds flowed into this second bank from “Peter’s
Pence” (money from around the world to ostensibly help
the impoverished pope and the Vatican staff) and other
donations from the faithful.
This second bank had two departments: the Ordinary
and Extraordinary Sections. The Ordinary Section
managed the real estate of the papacy and its donation
income. Did you know that the Roman Catholic Church
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The Thirty-three
days begin
The Thirty-Three Days Begin
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
is the biggest real estate owner in the world?
The Extraordinary Section poured money into stock
market speculations, and regularly made and lost mil-
lions. Specializing in the currency market, it worked
closely with Credit Suisse and the Societe de Banque
Suisse. Irregularities found during the forthcoming
mandated investigation of this second bank would be
directly chargeable to Cardinal Villot.
The Vatican Bank itself (officially called the Istituto
per le Opere di Religione [the Institute for Religious
Works] or IOR) had over 11,000 separate accounts. But
for what purposes was that money used? Not much of it
went for “religious works.” Here are the facts: Only about
one out of eleven of those accounts actually were used for
the church. The rest formed one gigantic slush fund for a
variety of individuals! Out of 11,000 accounts, 1,047
belonged to religious orders and institutes, 312 to par-
ishes, and 290 to dioceses. All the rest—totaling 9,351—
belonged to Catholic officials, privileged people such as
political figures and men who, for one reason or the
other, were considered important. This included
Sindona, Calvi, Gelli, and similar personalities. Mem-
bers of the inner Mafia may well have been represented
in those accounts. One also wonders whether the incom-
ing money was equally divided among all the accounts.
We have seen where the corrupt money came from,
and now we have discovered where it was going to.
But now, the 33 days had begun! We must get on with
our story:
On August 28, 1978 (Day Two), this new pope an-
nounced to the world that he would not be coronated! He
refused to have the papal crown placed on his head! In
fact, the papal chair used to bring a new pope to the
place of coronation would not be used either! This
strange new pope refused to become the king of the
Catholics! No ostrich feathers; no six-hour ceremony;
what did it all mean? Vatican City was in turmoil. Four
long  hours officials of the Curia pled with him to change
his mind, but he was too strong-minded—too prin-
cipled—to change.
Too many poor people were outside the gates suffer-
ing, for Albino Luciani to have a gold crown put on his
head. Instead, he simply walked up to the place where he
was officially made Pope John Paul I.
He who will walk on his own two feet, refuse the
applause, and stand for principle because it is right will
the more likely continue to stand for it thereafter. But
such noble characteristics will make him hated by those
too fearful of men to live the same way.
When men permit others to applaud them, they are
becoming captive to their applauders; for they are accus-
toming themselves to give those people that which will
continue to receive more of that adulation. When men
climb onto the sedia gestatoria, or palanquin, and
permit others to carry them about on their shoulders,
they become indebted to do that which will keep them
borne about by men.
On that occasion, in a statement made to diplomats
from all over the world who had been delegated to repre-
sent their nations at the Vatican, the new pope spoke as
if his church was a humble organization and would not
be interfering in the affairs of nations, but would be
respectfully subservient to other governments!
“We have no temporal goods to exchange, no eco-
nomic interests to discuss. Our possibilities for interven-
tion are specific and limited and of a special character.
They do not interfere with purely temporal, technical,
and political affairs, which are matters for your govern-
“In this way, our diplomatic missions to your highest
civil authorities, far from being a survival of the past, are
a witness to our deep-seated respect for lawful temporal
power, and to our lively interest in the humane causes
that the temporal power is intended to advance.”
The Thirty-Three Days Begin
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
(1) He had told the diplomatic corps that the Vatican
renounced all claims to temporal power.
(2) The Roman Curia had about 3,000 people work-
ing in it. It wielded great power, but the new pope stated
that the power of the papacy should be shared by the
pope with the bishops throughout the world, and that the
Curia should only carry out their combined decisions.
For both decisions he was hated by the hard-liners.
Earlier in his career, Albino Luciani had written
statements which did not agree with official Roman
teaching. The Curia quietly sent men to the Gregorian
University where he earlier studied and to Venice,
Vittorio Veneto, and Bulluno where he worked; and they
removed all notes and papers he had produced which
were out-of-line with official teachings. They probably
hoped to control his future statements in the Vatican,
and they wanted to eliminate anything contrary to that
written elsewhere.
Each Wednesday, the new pope gave a speech, which
was recorded. In addition, he spoke with various groups
on special occasions. Luciani’s speeches during his reign
followed this pattern: The Vatican would carefully write
each one, then hand him a copy the day before it was to
be given. He would ignore the copy and give a spontane-
ous speech, generally without notes. The copy written by
the Vatican would then be published in the Vatican news-
paper, L ’Osservatore Romano (The Roman Observer), as
the speech which he had delivered. The L ’Osservatore
Romano was guilty of publishing “lying reports.” The
objective was to carefully censor everything Luciani said
and did, so the world would only receive the staid, for-
mal Vatican position. His speeches received similar
treatment over Vatican Radio.
They wanted him to be a prisoner of the Vatican
Curia, the condition that Pope Paul VI had rapidly degen-
erated into. But, although modest in his bearing and
simple in his habits, Luciani had a keen intellect, an
unusual grasp of church and world affairs, and a power-
ful will.
He also brought no entourage with him into the
Vatican, as Paul VI did when he came from Milan, accom-
panied by Mafia agents and other hangers-on. Luciani
came alone, and the task he faced was not an easy one.
In his work he would have to withstand nearly the whole
Curia until he could get the old guard moved out and
fresh, new helpers moved in. But would the Curia be
willing to patiently wait till they were kicked out?
Who can have the wisdom to have solved Luciani’s
problems? They were legion. Yet the present writer will
dare to suggest one solution: Luciani should have dis-
cussed his plans with no one until he had placed his own
picked confidants in power. Not until then should he
have started his reform-minded comments and investiga-
In clear-cut statements made to friends, Albino
Luciani stated his conviction that he must emulate the
“first hundred days” of the reign of John XXIII. Sweeping
reforms must be instituted, and they must all begin
rapidly within little more than three months’ time.
John’s announcement to call Vatican II into session was
made only 89 days after his election.
A major problem faced by the entrenched was the
variety of doctrinal changes that the new pope clearly
intended to make. One was birth control. Paul VI had
decided against it in his Humanae Vitae. To Roman
Catholics this has been a topic of crucial importance.
Luciani clearly stated his intention to reverse Paul VI’s
position on the subject.
On Tuesday, September 19 (Luciani’s 24th day), he
detailed his reasons why this change must be made, in a
45-minute conversation with Villot.
He had already accepted an invitation to meet in the
Vatican on October 24 with a delegation from the U.S.
government on population control. That appointment
The Thirty-Three Days Begin
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
frightened the Curia deeply. Why did the U.S. government
want to confer with the new pope? The Roman Catholic
Church controlled the minds of over 18 percent of the
world population; and, under the old plan of the Church,
that 18 percent needed to keep expanding, since it was
nearly the sole means by which the church seemed able
to enlarge itself. But what would be the position of the
new pope on this important matter?
Soon a gambling lottery got started within the offices
of Vatican workers. Someone was sure to make money
on this one. The wager turned on this question: “On what
day would Marcinkus be formally removed from office?”
Money was being placed, and events were being watched
But the more ominous question was not being wa-
gered: When will it be my turn next? This was a real
problem, for so many were implicated in activities the
new pope wanted to change.
Cardinal Giovanni Benelli had consistently been on
Luciani’s side, and he knew much that had been going
on. Personal calls from the pope’s office phone to Benelli
and a select few others by the new pope yielded much
information. The present writer cannot help wondering
whether his line was bugged. It would not have been
difficult to do, and there were men in the Vatican who
would not have hesitated to do such a thing.
It is known that members of the secret organization,
P2, kept Licio Gelli in Buenos Aires informed of develop-
ments in the Vatican. Through him Roberto Calvi, also
traveling overseas “for his health,” learned of Luciani’s
rock-hard determination to clean up the papacy.
On Tuesday, September 12 (the 17th day), Albino
Luciani found some sheets of paper laid in his apartment
for his inspection. A disgruntled former P2 member,
Mino Pecorelli, had begun a limited-circulation newslet-
ter with highly sensitive information, which time gener-
ally revealed to be very accurate. On these latest papers,
was to be found a list of 121 members of Masonic
Lodges. Most of those on that list were cardinals, bish-
ops, and members of the Curia! To a Protestant, such
information would matter little; but, to a conservative
Catholic, it would indicate men who placed their own
objectives before Catholic creedal ones. Alerted, Luciani
set to work to verify the list, and 14 days later his check-
ing was completed.
For example, the Masonic name and data on Cardinal
Villot was Jeanni, lodge number 041/3, enrolled in a
Zurich lodge on August 6, 1966. Similar data was avail-
able for Marcinkus and a surprisingly wide range of
other leading Catholic officials throughout Italy, Europe,
and elsewhere.
On their junket through the large cities of South
America, Calvi and Gelli discussed each new item of
information fed them by associates in the Curia. Calvi
had already stolen over $400 million. Gelli and Sindona
were deeply involved also. In New York City, Sindona was
receiving reports also. He had been in a four-year battle
to fight extradition to Italy, and was paying lawyers mil-
lions to keep fighting the extradition papers filed against
him. All three men would be in serious trouble if
Luciani’s plans were carried out.
When the foreign minister, Monsignor Agostino
Casaroli, came to the new pope with seven questions
concerning the Church’s relationship with various East-
ern European countries, Luciani immediately told him
what to do on five of them, and said he needed a little
time to think about the rest. Gasaroli went away as-
tounded. When asked, “Were they the correct solutions?”
the prelate replied, “In my view, totally. It would have
taken me a year to get those responses from Paul.”
At this point, it is well to note a key point here: Over
800 million people, nearly one-fifth of the world’s popu-
lation looked to one man’s mind to make their most
important decisions for them. Not a committee of
The Thirty-Three Days Begin
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
10,000, or even 10, but one man. To do such a thing
would be to treat him as though he were a god. This is
the worship of man. Yet it makes the entire organization
and its people very weak. We have here an organization
in which the oddities, foibles, imaginings, and errors of
one man rule one-fifth of the world!
A long-standing controversy had raged over Cardinal
John Cody, who for years had mismanaged one of the
wealthiest archdioceses in the world: Chicago, with its
2.4 million Catholics. He mistreated the workers—so
much so that the priests had formed a “labor union” (the
Association of Chicago Priests) to oppose him! He
fraudulently misused, misapplied, and diverted funds,—
which was easy to do since he permitted no one else to
have the say over how an annual revenue of $300 million
was to be spent. On each yearly trip to Rome, he would
lavishly bribe various officials in the Curia—and the
pope himself,—in order to maintain his position in
Chicago. Lastly, he had given millions to a woman, Helen
Wilson, whom he was frequently seen with. Her son,
David Wilson, was made the sole insurance agent for the
Chicago archdiocese’s more than 1 billion in assets.
Paul VI dared not oppose him. Why not? The reason
probably was blackmail. Cody knew all about the Vatican
Bank and hundreds of other potential scandals hidden
in the church. Cody openly boasted that no one dared to
oust him, including the pope.
But now Luciani was being told of the “Cody prob-
lem,” and he asked that further information be given
him. In Chicago, Cody at last was becoming worried.
In the midst of his pressing duties, Luciani decided
he must continue on with his habit of visiting the needy,
the hospitals, and the prisons. Not only was he the Pope,
he was also the official “bishop of Rome.” Rome had a
Catholic population of 2.5 million, yet it was so secular
that it only produced six new candidates for the priest-
hood yearly. Only about 3 percent of the Catholics in
town went to church. Luciani wanted to help strengthen
the faith of his people.
But the Curia said Absolutely no! Their position was
that it was impossible; it could not be done. It had never
been done before, and he could not now break the long-
standing precedent! The pope never helped the poor or
visited the sick or those in prison!
This controversy continued on for days. There was
probably more here than meets the eye. They probably
were afraid what people “out there” might tell the pope.
They would also be ashamed to have him out there doing
the kind of things they ought to be doing.
One day, a third of the way through September, Pia,
Luciani’s sister ate lunch with him—and listened wide-
eyed with amazement as, over the phone, an official
loudly denounced the idea and said the pope could not
visit in Rome outside Vatican City. Soft-toned and re-
laxed, the pope smiled and responded that it pleased
him to do it anyway. He had the iron will, and he knew
he had the authority to press it through.
On Saturday, September 23 (the 28th day), Luciani
left the Vatican for the first time. It was an official visit to
a Roman cathedral to be installed as the bishop of Rome.
Giulio Argon, the communist mayor of Rome, shook
hands with him and the two gave speeches. A mass was
then conducted; and, with a majority of the Curia
present, he mentioned in his speech a number of the
problems he intended to deal with. None of his words
were quoted in the official Catholic media.
Partway through the speech, he turned; and, looking
directly at the men managing the Vatican Bank, he said:
“[The priest] should, with compassion, be close to
each one who is subject to him: forgetful of his rank he
should consider himself on a level with the good sub-
jects, but he should not fear to exercise the rights of his
authority against the wicked.”
Few in the vast audience understood the deeper
The Thirty-Three Days Begin
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
meaning of these words. All those in the Curia did.
Throughout Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Europe,
incriminating records against Marcinkus, Calvi, Gelli,
and Sindona were being stifled, mislaid, or removed.
Officials were being bribed, and some were being mur-
dered. Perhaps those four men and their associates
would survive the investigations. But they surely would
not survive one, instituted by the pope, into Vatican
“Vatican scandals involving large-scale fraud and
corruption and complicity in a cover-up have sim-
ply been shrugged off. Archbishop Marcinkus, who
was at the center of it all, was protected by the Pope
[John Paul II] for more than seven years and the Ital-
ian state authorities somehow rendered helpless . .
Roman Catholic Oxford Professor of Logic, Michael
Dummett, accused the Pope of complicity in a
cover-up to protect Marcinkus. The Sunday Tele-
graph 15th March, 1987, reporting from the Catho-
lic weekly, The Tablet, said that Prof. Dummett spoke
of ‘the Vatican Bank entangled with complicated
practices from which the most pungent stink of cor-
ruption arises. These practices involved other banks,
the Mafia and the seamiest type of Freemasonry,
culminating in what was possibly the bizarre sui-
cide, but more problably the grotesque murder of
an Italian banker in London.’ ”—Michael de Semlyen,
All Roads Lead to Rome? p. 71.
Thursday, September 28, 1978, dawned. It was the
33rd day.
After a light breakfast, Luciani was at his desk before
8 a.m. All his life he had been a very light eater, and it is
of interest that he was one of the few in the Vatican who
took no wine with his meals. This helped give him a
clearer mind than others around him.
As usual, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., he met with
visitors; “audiences” these were called. But this morning,
they were concluded with a talk with Cardinal Baggio. As
well as being an identified Mason, Baggio was known to
be a problem in other ways as well. The time-honored
Church way of solving any problem was to move the man
to a post somewhere else (never to fire him, even if adul-
tery and the vilest lust might be involved). Luciani of-
fered to make him the patriarch of Venice; but, at this,
Baggio flatly refused and shouted his refusal in Luciani’s
face! (Baggio had been a leader at the recent election in
trying to sell the cardinals on giving him—Baggio—the
papal throne.)
After his usual 12:30-1:30 lunch and 1:30-2:00 rest,
Luciani made two telephone calls to friends at 3:30 p.m.
(Felici, in Padua, and Benelli in Florence). He discussed
the Baggio affair, and everything he planned to tell Villot
that afternoon.
Cardinal Jean Villot, Vatican Secretary of State, had
been the closest associate of Pope Paul VI. He deeply
- 9 -
The Last Day
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
admired Paul for his conservative ways, his non-interfer-
ence with the Vatican financial circus, although he had
wished that Paul could make a few decisions once in a
while! Now he was confronted with a pope who was
liberal—more like John XXIII,—and who made decisions
so frequently and so fast it was somewhat astounding. At
the rate things were going, the Vatican might soon be
changed from an old-cronies’ country club into a reform-
minded international church headquarters. A man like
Luciani could be the ruination of the leadership.
But the biggest shock of all for poor Villot was to
come this afternoon of the 27th. After completing those
two telephone calls, Luciani called in Villot. They sat
down to chamomile tea, and then Luciani brought out
some papers.
Albino Luciani told Villot what he was planning to do
over the next several days, and much of it was to be done
the very next morning!
Luciani still had in mind a large number of changes
he wanted to be started within his first hundred days in
office, just as John XXIII his beloved role model had
done before him. Already a third of that hundred days
had passed. Luciani was settled in office, he was now
well-acquainted with the situation on many fronts. It was
time to get the wheels of change turning in Vatican City.
Luciani began with the Vatican Bank, the so-called
“Institute for Religious Works.” Luciani wanted the IOR—
the Vatican Bank—to do what its name said it was doing:
Spend its money on religious works.
By his 33rd day in office, Luciani had a large amount
of detailed information on the Vatican Bank. A portion of
it had come from Villot. Luciani told Villot that
Marcinkus must be moved out of the Vatican Bank the
very next day. More than that, he must be shipped to
America and made an auxiliary bishop in Chicago, as
soon as the problem with Cardinal Cody, head of the
Chicago archdiocese, had been settled. Giovanni Abbo
was to take his place.
As for Cody, the next day steps must be taken to
eliminate him. The papal nuncio in Washington, D.C.
should be consulted for a worthwhile successor to re-
place Cody. On this one item, Villot expressed approval;
on every other item he was silent. Luciani then spoke
about Baggio, the man who had shouted refusals in his
face a few hours before. Luciani told Villot that Baggio
was to be sent to Florence whether he liked it or not.
But, even as he said it, his tone was his normal patient,
cheerful one. Luciani’s careful diet, self-control, wide-
ranging knowledge, and careful but rapid thinking con-
sistently kept him one step ahead in his work. Two men
whom Luciani had come to highly trust were next men-
tioned. Cardinal Pericle Felici was to become vicar of
Rome, replacing Cardinal Ugo Poletti, who would become
archbishop of Florence. The man now in that post, Car-
dinal Benelli, was to return to Rome to become secretary
of state, taking Villot’s job.
Villot was now 72 years old, seriously ill, and a two-
pack-a-day smoker. In August, before the election, he had
made it clear he wanted to retire soon. But now it was
coming sooner than he thought: within a few days. And
his replacement was Benelli, a man whose views he did
not like.
When the pope was finished, he waited for some sign
of agreement, but there was only silence. When urged for
a comment, Villot said that many in the Vatican would
feel betrayed by what Luciani was about to do.
It was now 7:30 p.m. and the end of nearly 2 hours of
conversation. Villot left the room. From there he re-
turned to his own office, sat down, and reviewed the list
of changes to be implemented the next day. Then Villot
pulled another list out of the drawer and compared the
two. All the Masons were to be removed from power in
the Vatican, including himself, and non-Masons were to
take their place. The Vatican was to become Catholic
The Last Day
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
Pecorelli, the man who had published that list was
not to gain much for his efforts. Within a couple months
he would be shot to death as he sat in his car. The Ital-
ian solution was to be applied repeatedly.
Glancing down, Villot saw a note on his desk. It was
from a staff member confirming that the U.S. group
wishing to speak with the pope about population prob-
lems would definitely meet with the pope on October 24.
They were hoping that the new pope would give his
approval to the birth-control pill. Villot knew that when
Luciani’s reversal of Paul’s Humanae Vitae decree on
birth control was released, it would be a disaster to
Catholic conservatism.
Finally Villot left his desk, departing hurriedly, and
carelessly leaving all those significant papers scattered
across the top of his desk for others to read—something
he would not normally do.
After the 7:30 p.m. conclusion of his conversation
with Villot, Luciani tried unsuccessfully to reach some-
one by phone (Columbo), spoke for a time with the two
friends who were his assistants (Diego Lorenzi and John
Magee), and then ate supper with them at 7:50 p.m.
After the meal, Luciani returned to his study to look over
his notes for the earlier Villot meeting. At 8:45 p.m. he
was able to reach Cardinal Colombo in Milan by phone,
and he discussed relevant points with him. Columbo—
like everyone else who had spoken with Luciani during
the preceding month—attested that Luciani was in excel-
lent health. Luciani’s assistant (Lorenzi) noted that the
Columbo call ended at 9:15. Luciani then glanced over
the speech he was to make to the Jesuits three days later
on the 30th.
Walking out the door, he said good night to his two
assistants, “Buona notte. A domani. Se Dio vuole.”
(“Good night. Until tomorrow. If God wishes.”)
Two hours after the meeting with Villot ended, at a
little past 9:30 p.m., Albino Luciani entered his bedroom
and closed the door. He had spoken his last words.
The Italian solution was to be applied.
The Last Day
“Cardinal Wojtyla [the future John Paul II] was in
the adjoining room, seated at a long, narrow table,
discussing the day’s agenda with his closest aides.
“He had just finished celebrating mass in his
chapel and was taking his short morning break. He
regularly ate breakfast not in the palace’s historic
apartments on the second floor, but on the ground
floor next to the kitchen.
“Mucha tried to persuade one of the nuns work-
ing in the kitchen to bring the news to the cardinal.
“ ‘You have to go tell him the pope has died in
“ ‘But he died a month ago.’ The nun’s expres-
sion was dazed.
“ ‘No, the new one.’
“ ‘I can’t tell him that. If you want to, tell him
“Irriated, Mucha poked his head into the food
delivery passageway and asked the cardinal’s sec-
retary, Stanislaw Dziwisz, ‘Have you heard that John
Paul I is dead?’
“Wojtyla had just spooned the sugar into his tea-
cup. He froze and turned pale, his right hand still
raised. In the silence the only sound to be heard
was the spoon dropping onto the table.
“ ‘No,’ Wojtyla murmured.”—Carl Bernstein and
Marco Politi, His Holiness: John Paul II and the Hid-
den History of Our Time, p. 153.
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
One acquainted with European history cannot help
but recall a similar earlier incident. Pope Adrian VI
(1522-1523) came to the papacy from Holland only five
years after Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of
the Wittenberg church. Adrian recognized that the solu-
tion to the “Protestant problem” was not warfare against
the rebels, but a thorough reformation of the church—a
reformation which must begin at the Vatican. But his
principled honesty, careful economy, and efforts to
change headquarters led to his undoing. Historians
believe his brief reign was ended by poisoning.
(An earlier pope regularly practiced the same solution
on his friends. He would invite one to dinner and arrange
for the glass of wine set at the friend’s place to be poi-
soned. One day, hot from the chase, this hunter-pope
strode early into the banquet room sweaty and in his
hunting clothes. Slumping into a chair, he called for wine
to quench his thirst. A servant, unacquainted with
Vatican Palace procedures, took one of the wine glasses
set around the table and handed it to him. He was dead
within half an hour.)
At 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning, September 29,
Vincenza, the nun who had prepared Luciani’s meals for
many years, brought him his morning coffee. As usual,
she knocked and called out, “Good morning.” But there
- 10 -
Did It Happen?
was no reply this time. She left and returned at 4:45.
The coffee was untouched. She entered the room and
found that he was dead. He was sitting up and his teeth
were clenched. He had suddenly died in agony. No marks
were on him at all; something inside his body had pro-
duced death, yet his heart had always been known to be
in good condition. The notes of the meeting with Villot
were clenched in his hand and his bedside light was on.
(It was later to be reported by Villot that a copy of the
book, The Imitation of Christ, had been found in his
(Interviews with the embalmers later revealed their
estimate that Luciani had died about 5 a.m. Apparently,
he awakened just before 4:30 a.m., and switched on the
bed-table light [which night-watchmen Swiss guards on
the lane below said had been off all night], reached for
the notes,—and then his strong heart gave out. It had
withstood the poison all night! When Vincenza knocked
at 4:30, she saw the light coming from under the door.
Entering at 4:45 a.m., she nearly fainted when she saw
him, then checked his pulse. Just then his old alarm
clock, always set for 4:45, went off and she reached over
and pushed it off. So Luciani died just before—or as—
she first knocked on the door.)
A number of details could be mentioned here, but we
would do well to focus on but seven of them:
(1) It was well-known to Villot and certain others,
that, each night before he retired, Luciani reached for a
small bottle from a table by his old battered alarm clock,
and took a small amount. It was Effortil, a liquid medi-
cine to alleviate low-blood pressure.
(2) A fatal dose would be taken if a small amount of
digitalis, or a similar substance, had been added to the
bottle. Digitalis would bring death within two to six
(3) Extra bottles of that medicine would either be on
hand or could easily be procured. A bottle could be
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
prepared for the fatal night a week or two ahead of time,
and then substituted for the one in his bedroom when
the crisis of his papacy warranted such an extreme
measure. Luciani’s conversation with Villot the night
before clearly showed that the crisis had arrived. What-
ever was going to be done—had to be done before the
next day dawned. Delay of even one more day would be
too late.
(4) The Vatican has 10,000 rooms and halls and 997
stairways, 30 of which are secret. One of these little-
known and unused stairways was close to the pope’s
bedroom. At its entrance and throughout its length, it
was unguarded, as well as the hallway outside the pope’s
bedroom. The pope’s bedroom was never locked. (Inter-
estingly enough, prior to Pope John XXIII Swiss guards
patrolled that hallway day and night. But John had
banned them.)
(5) Villot’s meeting with the pope ended at 7:30 p.m.
and the pope went to bed, exactly on schedule as usual
and not before then, at 9:30 p.m. That provided some-
one with two hours to enter that room.
(6) It would appear that, either Villot switched bottles
himself or, because of what he told others on the phone
that evening, another person in the Vatican carried out
the assignment.
(7) Not only what happened that night—but what
occurred the next morning—was extremely important.
That bottle had to be removed! It is known that, when
Villot entered the bedroom at 5 a.m., he slipped that
bottle into his pocket. That is an extremely incriminating
fact. If he did not give Luciani the poisoned bottle the
night before, he knew enough to remove it the next
morning! If he had not known the plot, he could not
have known to take the bottle. He also removed from
the room Luciani’s copy of the very incriminating notes
from the meeting with Villot the night before.
(8) Villot instructed Vincenza, and those she had
already told, to be absolutely quiet about the matter.
Then, with extremely remarkable presence of mind,
Villot made some phone calls. One of the very first was to
Ernesto and Arnaldo Signoracci, the papal embalmers.
They were told to come immediately to embalm some-
one. Such early embalming after death was not done,
and the two Signoracci brothers had never embalmed
anyone that early in the morning before. But, this time,
quick embalming was urgent before the authorities or
medical doctors arrived! It had to be done even before a
hospital resuscitation team could work on the pope in an
attempt to restore him to life! There could only be one
reason for this strange, apparently well-thought-out
timetable: to eliminate the evidence of the poison in
Luciani’s bloodstream. (Embalming removes the blood,
and replaces it with embalming fluid to help preserve the
tissues.) The Vatican Institute of Medicine was told to get
the embalmers over immediately. The Signoracci broth-
ers arrived in a Vatican car at 5 a.m. The medical doctor
(Renato Buzzonetti) arrived at 6 a.m. and examined him,
and said it was “sudden death that could be related to
acute myocardial infarction [a heart attack].”
  (9) Cardinal Villot had been in charge of the Vatican
during the interim between the death of Paul VI and the
election of John Paul I. Now, again in charge of the
Vatican, he did not let the public know of the death of the
pope until 7:27 a.m., two hours after it had been discov-
ered. By that time, all that needed to be done had been
(10) The embalmers were delayed for a short time
from doing it, because of angry disputes by certain
Vatican staff who recognized why it was being demanded
so quickly. Indeed, Italian law required that no embalm-
ing could be done for 24 hours, except with a
magistrate’s permission. What were Villot and his associ-
ates trying to hide? It was well-known by medical and
criminal experts that embalming greatly lessened the
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
likelihood of identifying death by poisoning.
(11) When the embalming was finally done, the
strange order was given that the fluid had to be put into
the body while the blood remained! The problem here
was that if the blood were drained out first (as is nor-
mally done), some of that blood might be saved by some-
one and later examined. Therefore Villot ordered that the
fluid be put into the veins and arteries with the blood
still there. This made the task much more difficult for
the two brothers.
(12) To ensure that nothing incriminating could be
found anywhere in the papal apartments, everything
belonging to Luciani was boxed and removed. It was as if
he had never existed. By 6 p.m. on that same day, the 19-
room apartment was sealed by Villot, not to be opened
until the next election was completed.
“The Roman Church now presents a fair front to
the world, covering with apologies her record of
horrible crueties. She has clothed herself in
Christlike garments; but she is unchanged. Every
principle of the papacy that existed in past ages
exists today. The doctrines devised in the darkest
ages are still held. Let none deceive themselves.
The papacy that Protestants are now so ready to
honor is the same that ruled the world in the days
of the Reformation, when men of God stood up, at
the peril of their lives, to expose her iniquity.”—Great
Controversy, 571.
In Florence, when Cardinal Benelli came out of his
room at 9 a.m., he was surrounded by reporters. Tears
flooding from his eyes, he said, “The Church has lost the
right man for the right moment. We are very distressed.
We are left frightened.”
When Pope Paul VI died, little emotion had been
expressed. But when John Paul I died, the entire city was
up in arms. Men and women wept openly everywhere.
When his body was shown, people passing it were heard
to shout, “Who has done this to you? Who has murdered
Within two days, the public and the press were loudly
demanding an autopsy. But the Vatican was determined
that no autopsy be performed, for that might have re-
vealed something new about the cause of death.
It was also decided that a quick burial must occur;
and, at the earliest possible date, another papal election
must be held. It was obviously hoped that a quick burial
and the immediate convening of the cardinals for the
election process would give the media something else to
think about: Who would be the next pope?
Before concluding, it is worth noting that an earlier
specialist who had worked with him, later commented
that Luciani had low-blood pressure of 120/80. Low-
blood pressure was confirmed by 23 doctors as being
- 11 -
The Aftermath
The Aftermath
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
“the best possible condition for increased life expect-
Diego Lorenzi, Luciani’s youthful personal attendant,
later said that Luciani had an excellent heart; and, that
together, they would climb mountains at a rapid pace for
exercise. He also said that Luciani had numerous ECGs
which showed that he had a strong heart.
A surprising number of irregularities in the Vatican
story of Luciani’s earlier history, health, personality,
mental and physical capabilities, beliefs, and death could
be related. They were very willing to publish lying re-
ports about the man they had laid in the grave.
The best man to take the place of Luciani was his
close friend, Giovanni Benelli. But he fell nine votes
short, and Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland became the
next pope (Pope John Paul II). Wojtyla appears to be a
nice man, and he also smiles. But, whereas Luciani was
determined to cleanse the Vatican temple, Wojtyla has
been very willing to let all the evil remain. (He probably
fears for his life, after what obviously happened to his
predecessor.) Not a single reform of the Vatican was
made. Marcinkus remained in power; all the Vatican
Bank cover-ups and illegal activities continued on. To
this day, the Vatican remains a sinkhole of corruption.
As for the Milan investigation, that was conveniently
stopped. The Italian solution was applied again. On the
morning of January 29, 1979, another incorruptible man
died: Judge Emilio Alessandrini. As he stopped at a red
light on his way to work, five men approached the car
and began firing bullets into it. The investigation of
Calvi’s bank stopped.
But then, in February 1979, the Bank of Italy started
a new investigation; and, this time, it appeared likely
that Calvi would be apprehended. To avoid letting him
tell anything, he was “suicided” in London in 1982. In
Rome, a few hours earlier, his personal secretary,
Graziella, was “suicided” by being thrown out her fourth-
floor office window of Calvi’s headquarter’s bank, Banco
Several more deaths also occurred (Mino Pecorelli,
Georgio Ambrosoli, Boris Giuliano, and Roberto
And whatever happened to Sindona, Gelli, and
Michele Sindona is currently serving a 25-year prison
sentence in the U.S. on American bank fraud charges, in
which Vatican Bank involvement was not referred to.
Licio Gelli was wanted by the Italian authorities and
was lured into a trap on September 13, 1982. Arrested
by Swiss police when he arrived from Argentina, he was
confined in the maximum security prison, Champ
Dollon. On August 10, 1983, with the help of P2, he
“escaped,” and made his way back to Argentina where he
has since remained.
Paul Marcinkus continued on as head of the Vatican
Bank, at least until the late 1980s. He may still be there,
if not now retired. No one would dare transfer him out of
his position as president of Vatican Bank; and, for his
part, never since the mid-1970s has he dared leave
Vatican City. To do so would mean immediate arrest by
the Italian police.
So that is the story of Pope John Paul I. You might
wonder why we told it. The book, Great Controversy,
contains the previous history of the church for over a
thousand years. It is well that you be made aware of
some recent history. It might enable you to better under-
stand coming events. At least it will make chapter 35
much more believable. Just now, open the book to page
563 and read it again.
The Aftermath
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
- Appendix -
Chronology of
the popes
It is difficult for a non-Catholic to comprehend how
fully the Roman Catholic Church is centered around the
pope. It is for this reason that it has been said that the
Catholic Church is the “worship of man.”
“The Pope is the Roman Pontiff who, by divine law,
has supreme jurisdiction over the universal Church. He
is the superior of all religious. The pope may act alone or
with a council in defining doctrine for the universal
Church or in making laws. He is addressed as His Holi-
ness the Pope. By title and right he is: Bishop of Rome,
Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of St. Peter, the Prince
of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff, Patriarch of the West,
Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the
Roman province, and Sovereign of the State of Vatican
City.”—The Catholic Encyclopedia, page 479.
The Annuario Pontificio is the official Vatican list of
all the popes. It includes both the popes and, what the
Vatican considers to be, the “anti-popes.” In the following
list, the antipopes are italicized. It is of interest that
some of them were canonized by the church! (See “217
St. Hippolytus,” below). The year of his ascendency
(when he took office) is given before each pope’s official
       St. Peter
  67 St. Linus
  76 St. Anacletus or Cletus
  88 St. Clement I
  97 St. Evaristus
105 St. Alexander I
115 St. Sixtus I
125 St. Telesphorus
136 St. Hyginus
140 St. Pius I
155 St. Anicetus
166 St. Soter
175 St. Eleutherius
189 St. Victor I
199 St. Zephyrinus
217 St. Callistus I
217 St. Hippolytus
222 St. Urban I
230 St. Pontian
235 St. Anterus
236 St. Fabian
251 St. Cornelius
251 Novatian
253 St. Lucius I
254 St. Stephen I
257 St. Sixtus II
259 St. Dionysius
269 St. Felix I
275 St. Eutychian
283 St. Caius
296 St. Marcellinus
308 St. Marcellus I
309 St. Eusebius
311 St. Melchiades
314 St. Sylvester I
336 St. Marcus
337 St. Julius I
352 Liberius
355 Felix II
366 St. Damasus I
366 Ursinus
384 St. Siricius
399 St. Anastasius I
401 St. Innocent I
417 St. Zosimus
418 St. Boniface I
418 Eulalius
422 St. Celestine I
432 St. Sixtus III
440 St. Leo I
461 St. Hilary
468 St. Simplicius
483 St. Felix III (II)
492 St. Gelasius I
496 Anastasius II
498 St. Symmachus
498 Lawrence (501-505)
514 St. Hormisdas
523 St. John I, Martyr
526 St. Felix IV (Ill)
530 Boniface II
530 Dioscorus
533 John II
535 St. Agapitus I
536 St. Silverius, Martyr
537 Vigilius
556 Pelagius I
581 John III
575 Benedict I
579 Pelagius II
590 St. Gregory I
604 Sabinian
607 Boniface III
608 St. Boniface IV
815 St. Deusdedit
          or Adeodatus
Chronology of the Popes
The Murder of Pope John Paul I
819 Boniface V
625 Honorius I
640 Severinus
640 John IV
642 Theodore I
649 St. Martin I, Martyr
654 St. Eugene I
657 St. Vitalian
672 Adeodatus II
676 Donus
678 St. Agatho
682 St. Leo II
684 St. Benedict II
685 John V
686 Conon
687 Theodore
687 Paschal
687 St. Sergius I
701 John VI
705 John VII
708 Sisinnius
708 Constantine
715 St. Gregory II
731 St. Gregory III
741 St. Zachary
752 Stephen II (III)
757 St. Paul I
767 Constantine
768 Philip
768 Stephen III (IV)
772 Adrian I
795 St. Leo III
816 Stephen IV (V)
817 St. Paschal I
824 Eugene II
827 Valentine
827 Gregory IV
844 John
844 Sergius II
847 St. Leo IV
855 Benedict III
855 Anastasius
858 St. Nicholas I
867 Adrian II
872 John VIII
882 Marinus I
884 St. Adrian III
885 Stephen V (VI)
891 Formosus
896 Boniface VI
896 Stephen VI (VII)
897 Romanus
897 Theodore II
898 John IX
900 Benedict IV
903 Leo V
903 Christopher
904 Sergius III
911 Anastasius III
913 Landus
914 John X
928 Leo VI
928 Stephen VII (VIII)
931 John XI
936 Leo VII
939 Stephen VIII (IX)
942 Marinus II
946 Agapitus II
955 John XII
963 Leo VIII
964 Benedict V
965 John XIII
973 Benedict VI
974 Boniface VII
974 Benedict VII
983 John XIV
965 John XV
996 Gregory V
997 John XVI
999 Sylvester II
1003 John XVII
1004 John XVIII
1009 Sergius IV
1012 Benedict VIII
1012 Gregory
1024 John XIX
1032 Benedict IX
1045 Sylvester III
1045 Benedict IX
1045 Gregory VI
1046 Clement II
1047 Benedict IX
1048 Damasus II
1049 St. Leo IX
1055 Victor II
1057 Stephen IX (X)
1058 Benedict X
1059 Nicholas II
1061 Alexander II
1061 Honorius II
1073 St. Gregory VII
1080 Clement III
1086 Bl. Victor III
1088 Bl. Urban II
1099 Paschal II
1100 Theodoric
1102 Albert
1105 Sylvester IV
1118 Gelasius II
1118 Gregory VIII
1119 Callistus II
1124 Honorius II
1124 Celestine II
1130 Innocent II
1130 Anacletus II
1138 Victor IV
1143 Celestine II
1144 Lucius II
1145 Bl. Eugene III
1153 Anastasius IV
1154 Adrian IV
1159 Alexander III
1159 Victor IV
1164 Paschal III
1168 Callistus III
1179 Innocent III
1181 Lucius III
1185 Urban III
1187 Gregory VIII
1187 Clement III
1191 Celestine III
1198 Innocent III
1216 Hononus III
1227 Gregory IX
1241 Celestine IV
1243 Innocent IV
1254 Alexander IV
1261 Urban IV
1265 Clement IV
1271 Bl. Gregory X
1276 Bl. Innocent V
1276 Adrian V
1276 John XXI
1277 Nicholas III
1281 Martin IV
1285 Honorius IV
1288 Nicholas IV
1294 St. Celestine V
1294 Boniface VIII
1303 Bl. Benedict XI
1305 Clement V
1316 John XXII
Chronology of the Popes
1328 Nicholas V
1334 Benedict XII
1342 Clement VI
1352 Innocent VI
1362 Bl. UrbanV
1370 Gregory XI
1378 Urban VI
1378 Clement VII
1369 Boniface IX
1394 Benedict  XIII
1404 Innocent VII
1406 Gregory XII
1409 Alexander V
1410 John XXIII
1417 Martin V
1431 Eugene IV
1439 Felix V
1447 Nicholas V
1455 Callistus III
1458 Pius II
1464 Paul II
1471 Sixtus IV
1484 Innocent VIII
1492 Alexander VI
1503 Pius III
1503 Julius II
1513 Leo X
1522 Adrian VI
1523 Clement VII
1534 Paul III
1550 Julius III
1555 Marcellus II
1555 Paul IV
1559 Pius IV
1566 St. Pius V
1572 Gregory XIII
1585 Sixtus V
1590 Urban VII
1590 Gregory XIV
1591 Innocent IX
1592 Clement VIII
1605 Leo XI
1605 Paul V
1621 Gregory XV
1623 Urban VIII
1644 Innocent X
1655 Alexander VII
1687 Clement IX
1670 Clement X
1676 Bl. Innocent XI
1689 Alexander VIII
1691 Innocent XII
1700 Clement XI
1721 Innocent XIII
1724 Benedict XIII
1730 Clement XII
1740 Benedict XIV
1758 Clement XIII
1769 Clement XIV
1775 Pius VI
1800 Pius VII
1823 Leo XII
1829 Pius VIII
1831 Gregory XVI
1846 Pius IX
1878 Leo XIII
1903 St. Pius X
1914 Benedict XV
1922 Pius XI
1939 Pius XII
1958 John XXIII
1983 Paul VI
1978 John Paul I
1978 John Paul II

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