An Italian parliamentary commission has reported that Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish man who shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, acted at the behest of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
"This commission believes, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the leaders of the Soviet Union took the initiative to eliminate the Pope Karol Wojtyla"
the commission's leader, Paolo Guzzanti, stated in the report, which got leaked to the media last Thursday.
Agca, who shot John Paul in Rome's St. Peter's Square May 13, 1981, was found guilty of the attempted murder and has recently been released from a Turkish prison.
The commission confirmed the existence of the so-called "Bulgarian connection" by establishing the presence in St. Peter's Square of Sergei Antonov, a Bulgarian working in Rome for Balkan Air who was arrested in connection with the attempted murder and eventually found not guilty for want of evidence, in 1986.
Brezhnev asked the erstwhile Soviet Union's Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, to eliminate the Polish-born pontiff because of his opposition to communism in Eastern Europe.
That old softie Brezhnev, we all knew he was capable of all kinds of things, including detailed plans for an invasion through Poland into Western Europe in the 1980's.
Time will tell what people think of Pope JPII and Leonid Iylich Brezhnev.