Italian Panel Reopens Probe Into '81 Attack on Pope

After John Paul II’s Revelations in His Latest Book

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ROME, FEB. 24, 2005 ( An Italian Parliamentary commission decided to reopen the dossier on the 1981 attempt on John Paul II’s life, in the wake of revelations in the Pope’s new book.

The Holy Father gives details and personal impressions about the assassination attempt, in «Memory and Identity,» which was published this week.

«We will reopen immediately the case of the attack on the Pope,» said Paolo Guzzanti, president of the Parliamentary Investigation Commission.

Guzzanti, who spoke to Italian agencies Wednesday, explained that the reopening of the «Mitrokhin dossier» will begin with «the acquisition of procedural documentation relative to that odious crime, reopening the Soviet avenue, the KGB but also the GRU,» the Soviet military intelligence service.

The commission’s president added that this decision was made «after what the Supreme Pontiff himself has certified on the ideological origin of the crime.»

In the book, the Pope states that the attack was «one of the last convulsions of the ideologies of the powers that arose in the 20th century.»

Guzzanti observed that «in the reconstruction of this crime, the only thing that has been lacking is the motive.»

John Paul II’s pontificate «was the first cause of the collapse of Communism, at the moment of its greatest aggressive military effort against the Western democracies — an effort that turned out to be useless because of the turbulence and subsequent paralysis of Catholic Poland gathered around the Pope, Solidarity and Lech Walesa,» explained Guzzanti.

The investigation of Mehmet Ali Agca’s attack on the Pope was entrusted to Italian authorities.

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