John Paul II Wrote Letter to His Attacker

KRAKOW, Poland, JULY 6, 2005 ( A letter Pope John Paul II addressed to Mehmet Ali Agca, the terrorist who tried to kill him, was found in the files of the deceased Pontiff, says his former secretary.

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«The Holy Father wrote a letter to Ali Agca but he never sent it, nor did he make it public,» Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz told the Polish news agency PAP.

According to the Rzeczpospolita newspaper, in the letter, written probably between May 1981 and December 1983, the Pope asked Agca why the Turk wanted to kill him.

«Why did you shoot me, if we both believe in the existence of one God?» the Pope was quoted as having asked in letter.

The letter will be handed over to Monsignor Slawomir Oder, postulator of John Paul II’s cause for beatification.

John Paul II forgave Agca publicly and visited him in prison on Dec. 27, 1983.

Agca, an ultranationalist militant, was extradited to Turkey in 2000 after spending 19 years in Italian prisons. He is now in prison in Turkey for other crimes.

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