Murder of a Pope

During the night of September 28, 1978, just over a month after his coronation, Albino Luciani, better known as Pope John Paul I, died in his sleep. It was reported that he had died of a heart attack while reading in his bed. Whether a cardiac event killed the “smiling pope,” as he was lovingly called, will always be open to conjecture, for no autopsy was performed. Some of those who did not buy into the heart attack story charged that the pope had been poisoned in order to keep him from exposing the financial finagling of the Vatican Bank. Only God, and the perpetrators if there were any, know what happened.

In 1984, an English investigative reporter, who happened to be Catholic, authored a book that caused something of a stir in Vatican circles. The book, In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I, was immediately and roundly rejected by many Catholic authorities, but not all. One of those who did not denounce the book was the Catholic Abbé de Nantes, who published a study centered on the book. That 1984 study is available online at a Catholic site. It begins with the following words:


The book by David Yallop, an English Roman Catholic by birth, IN GOD'S NAME, is not an «inferior whodunnit», as Jean Potin, Assumptionist and editor-in-chief of La Croix would have us believe. It is the full result, verifiable in a thousand points, of a skilled piece of investigative journalism. The author is recognised by the entire London press as a “persistent and serious investigator”, a “highly competent investigative journalist.” All the articles written about his book, whatever the tendency of their authors, conclude that “the affair merits the opening of an official enquiry.” That much is self-evident.

What does he prove? He proves the assassination by poisoning, previously suspected although none of the details were known, of Pope John Paul I during the night of 28 to 29 September 1978, after a reign of thirty-three days on the throne of Saint Peter…. (Abbe de Nantes, Murder At The Vatican , © 1984, The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st century

The details are in the two-part article you can reach by clicking the above link.

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