The truth about John Paul I's death

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John Paul I wasn't poisoned or assassinated. The investigation by journalist Stefania Falasca shows he died due to cardiac arrest. 

Before dinner, while he was praying with his secretary John Magee, John Paul I felt a strong chest pain. Despite his discomfort, he refused to call a doctor and it cost him. Hours later, in the middle of the night, his heart stopped. 

Vice Postulator, John Paul I Canonization

“The problem was that the pope didn't consider that type of pain to be alarming, because he suffered from chronic pain. The doctor told me it was a very similar pain, so he could have confused it. That's probably why he told his secretary not to worry. Not even the nuns got worried.”

Thus, Falasca wanted to end the rumors about John Paul I's assassination. They arose due to the pope's sudden death and the Vatican's poor public relations response. This fueled the suspicion and gossip published by sensationalist media. 

Vice Postulator, John Paul I Canonization

“They didn't know how to tell the world that the pope, who was so loved by people, had died so suddenly. Obviously, if they had been clear, the resulting theories that made John Paul I's death into a drama wouldn't have been so easily accessible.”

What caused the flood of conspiracy theories was the Vatican not disclosing that the person who found the deceased John Paul I was a nun. She was worried when the pope didn't come out of his room, so she decided to enter. The Vatican had its reservations and chose to say it was his secretary instead. 

Vice Postulator, John Paul I Canonization

“Maybe they didn't say a nun was the first to see the pope because the mentality was different then. We are talking about 40 years ago, and this situation could have been shocking for whoever had to announce John Paul I's death. They decided to say something else.”

There were also people who said John Paul I was assassinated by conservatives in the Curia who were obsessed with stopping the reforms of a new and liberal pope.  

Vice Postulator, John Paul I Canonization

“These are the labels you can't give to the Church. They are labels emanating from politics and they cannot seriously be applied to the Church. Luciani was elected by unanimous decision because of an essential quality of a man of the Church: being a pastor. All he did in the 34 days of his papacy was put the priorities of the Second Vatican Council into practice.”

John Paul I's canonization process is helping clarify questions produced by his sudden death. Pope Francis has already signed the decree of his heroic virtues, the second to last step before beatification. 

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