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This book is shocking. To think that 'The Smiling Pope' might have been murdered caused me to stay awake reading until almost two in the morning. It is well written and presents facts in an understandable manner. If you profess to be Roman Catholic, this is a book for you. As long as you have an open mind, it will cause you to wonder what else has happened in the Vatican. A must read.
Yallop has a mind for detail and brilliantly describes the key players around the ill-fated John Paul I "the smiling pope." He states his hypothesis early on and carefully defends his claim that skullduggery was afoot in Vatican circles. Unfortunately, the story of John Paul I's 33 days in office is surrounded by the complexity of Vatican finances and the various Italian and foreign banks that funneled money in and out of Citta del Vaticano. This aspect of the book is rather burdensome unless you are a CPA! Nevertheless, Yallop does an honorable job and the reader cannot help but feel a sense of loss in the premature, and mysterious, death of this humble intellectual priest who was truly a gift to the church.
Just read this and my God, what revelations - I have several times visited Vatican City and been over-awed by the worldly and awesome atmosphere of the place so it doesn't take too much of a leap of credibility to know that what Yallop is saying in this book is quite true.
The connections with the Mafiosi, bent bankers and the biggest bent banker (untrained as a REAL banker, but the REAL God's Banker) of them all, Archbishop Marcinkus, who, incidentally died in the USA in 2006 - apparently as a revered and saintly priest - Ha! Ha! is quite phenomenal. I well remember the revelations in the eighties about Roberto Calvi, et al and am not surprised ( but I AM saddened) by all the machinations perpetrated by the Instituto per le Opere di Religione
(IOR) under the auspices of the said Archbishop.
The unexplained death of the popular, kindly, even saintly Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul 1)is undoubtedly down to some or all of the various priestly rogues, their bent banking cohorts and various people of high political standing (all of whom were/are members of the notorious P2 Masonic Lodge); this is all shown with particular attention to detail and meticulous research by Yallop.
This is a great book - read it - I'm sure it will, if not change your view of the world, perhaps make you more cynical and also make you sad that even the most revered and trusted institutions are full to the brim with corruption.
I wonder what the Carpenter's Son of Nazareth is thinking?
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