The New European: What if John Paul II actually had been assassinated in ’81?

Sophia Deboick on what might have happened if the attempt on Pope John Paul II’s life had been successful.

The two bullets fired by his would-be assassin perforated Pope John Paul II’s colon and small intestine, and he lost nearly three-quarters of his blood as he was rushed to hospital. Yet, they narrowly missed his mesenteric artery and abdominal aorta, allowing surgeons, over the course of five hours, to save the pontiff’s life.

But what if events in St Peter’s Square on that spring day 40 years ago had gone differently? What if Mehmet Ali Ağca’s shots had, as they so nearly did, proved fatal? How different would things have been if the man otherwise known as Karol Wojtyła had not occupied the papal throne for almost another quarter of a century?

The New European, 13 May 2021, p. 21.

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