Polish spies in John Paul II assassination attempt
This week CathNews presents the top stories from 2006. This story was originally published on 13 October 2006.
The revelations are made in an article in Polish weekly Wprost by Leszek Szymowski who was assisted by Marek Lasota, a research fellow of the Polish Institute of the National Memory.
The authors detail evidence confirming that the Soviet KGB planned and led all efforts to "eliminate" the Polish Pope, from 1978 up to 1989, when the Communist regime finally collapsed in Poland, and soon after in all Eastern and Central European countries of the former Soviet Bloc.
According to the website Oracle Syndicate the new evidence delivers a crushing blow to all "conspiracy theories" invented by the Soviet disinformation experts or circulated in the West, which blamed Turkish right wing groups or even the CIA.
The new evidence, found in Berlin in the archives of the East German communist secret service, also confirms the role of the Bulgarian secret services.
The researchers say that the Kremlin allotted to East German intelligence the task of countering all reports and accusations against the Bulgarians.
However, what was not known earlier was the participation of the Polish secret services in the preparations for the plots against the Pope, the researchers say.
The researchers also say that a total of 21 or 22 attempts on the life of John Paul II were planned between 1978 and 1989.
However, the whole picture concerning these attempts remains dim.
For a long time, this code-name used by the Polish special service, was mistakenly linked to a singular provocation, led by a super-secret "Section D" of the SB in Cracow, in 1983. "Section D" was a special operations group, secretly organised in the Polish Ministry of Interior to carry out criminal operations against the Church.
This particular action aimed at compromising a Cracow priest, Andrzej Bardecki, an editor of Tygodnik Powszechny weekly paper and one of the closest friends of then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla. In 1983, special SB agents Grzegorz Piotrowski, Barbara Szydlowska and Barbara Borowiec (women agents) broke into the apartment of the priest and left there provocative materials. The provocation failed.
In 2005, research by the Polish Institute of National Memory (IPN) discovered that the "Operation Triangolo" embraced a series of hostile actions against the Pope, carried out by the Polish communist secret services.
These shocking findings showed that the assassination of John Paul II had become the most important goal in the history of the communist special services in Poland. The Polish communist services worked for at least four years on a plan to kill the Polish Pope.
However, the secret files on "Operation Triangolo" disappeared from the archives on 11 April 1989 when a special delegation of the KGB officers came to Warsaw to secure and move out these documents. These documents are still kept as "top secret" in Moscow, the researchers say.
Church's 'Black Bishop' under scrutiny
In another story, a Roman Catholic seminary in Rome is opening its archives on the late Bishop Alois Hudal, who is accused of helping Nazi war criminals escape trial.
The Italian news service ANSA said researchers hope the documents at Rome's Teutonic College will shed light on the so-called Black Bishop.
Hudal, who died in 1963, was head of the Teutonic College during and immediately after World War II, ANSA asid. He was known for his pro-Nazi views and is alleged to have helped many Nazi war crimes suspects escape trail - including Franz Stangl, commander of the Treblinka concentration camp in Poland.
Much of the evidence against against Hudel has been collected by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish organization that works to find Nazi war criminals, ANSA said.
Dark Side - Ali Agca's Secret Services (Oracle Syndicate, 12/10/06)
Church's 'Black Bishop' faces scrutiny (Malaysia Sun, 12/10/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mehmet Ali Agca (The 80s Server)
'Hitler's holocaust plan for Jews in Palestine stopped by Desert (Independent, 14/4/06)
Vatican no comment on release of would be papal assassin (CathNews, 10/1/06)
Pope's would-be assassin denied release from prison (CathNews, 9/11/04)
5 Jan 2007