ACT V DID THE VATICAN BANK KILL POPE JOHN PAUL I?
She opens the door a crack and peers into the pope’s bedroom. The light is on, but nothing stirs. Sister Vincenza Taffarel has been Pope John Paul I’s housekeeper for 19 years, and he hadn’t ever overslept. When she enters, she finds him in bed. His face is distorted, and his rigid fingers are clasping a sheet of paper. It’s immediately clear to Sister Vincenza: The pope is dead.
Even before the doctor can arrive, Jean-marie Villot pays a visit. He was the Cardinal Secretary of State, the second most powerful man in the Vatican— before being dismissed 12 hours earlier by the pope for being a member of the P2 Lodge, as were nearly all the leaders of the Vatican Bank. Just after Villot arrives, the paper clasped by John Paul I disappears— along with a bottle of blood pressure medication that was on his bedside table and his will. Was John Paul I poisoned on the night of September 28, 1978— just 33 days after being elected pope? A case can be made for this notion. By the end of the 1970s, the Vatican Bank was the cash cow of the Freemasons and the Sicilian Mafia. But John Paul I was a staunch opponent of the financial institution. He knew about the dirty dealings that the bankers Michele Sindona and Roberto Calvi conducted behind the smoke screen of the Church— and he wanted to end this when he became pope. A mistake he paid for with his life? The bottom line: Villot reverses his dismissal, prevents the dissolution of the Vatican Bank, and manages to conceal the alleged murder of the pope by forbidding an autopsy. When asked why, he cites canon law. But this too is a lie…
ULTIMATE SACRIFICE John Paul I was elected pope on August 26, 1978— and died just 33 days later. His death remains a mystery. Did he fall victim to a heinous conspiracy?