Tags: reagan | cia | soviets | pope john ii

New Book: Reagan Hid Explosive CIA Report Fingering Soviets in Pope Murder Try

Image: New Book: Reagan Hid Explosive CIA Report Fingering Soviets in Pope Murder Try
President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Pope John Paul II on the podium at Miami International Airport, Fla., on Sept. 10, 1987. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty)

By    |   Monday, 01 May 2017 10:46 AM

The CIA concluded that the Soviet Union's foreign military intelligence agency was behind the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, a new book claims.

But the agency's bombshell discovery was allegedly never made public because the Reagan administration feared it could lead to World War III.

In "A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century," author Paul Kengor quotes a source familiar with the document as saying:

"I've never, ever, in all my years, seen anything as secretive as that document … That report exists. If someone can find it, you've got the most explosive report of the 20th century."

According to Kengor, both Reagan and the pontiff were considered a double threat by the Soviet Union.

And while it's been long suspected that Moscow was involved in John Paul II's murder attempt, Kengor has, for the first time, pinpointed the culprit as the GRU, the Soviet foreign military intelligence agency.

And unnervingly, its members included two men now serving under Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The Vatican enclave chose the Polish pope [and] the advent of this pontiff threatened the Soviets' global ambitions," Kengor writes.

"Particularly when paired with the new leadership in Washington under President Reagan two years later."

Kengor says one Soviet publication wrote with "characteristic vitriol" that John Paul II was "malicious, lowly, perfidious and backwards" and as "a toady of the American militarists" hoped to undermine Communism with his "overseas accomplices."

"Make no mistake: Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan scared the Kremlin. And with good reason," Kengor writes. "The pope implored his people to choose God's side over what the Protestant Reagan and the Roman Catholic Church both called ‘godless Communism."

He says the Soviets dubbed Reagan "The Crusader" and felt the pontiff was such a "grave affront to their existence" that "they wanted him dead."

When a lone gunman unsuccessfully tried to assassinate the Pope on May 13, 1981, CIA Director William J. Casey launched an investigation under the auspices of Reagan.

According to Kengor, Casey, in a secret report, concluded the Pope's near-murder was planned by the GRU.

"[Reagan] was informed by Casey alone. Just the two of them in a room. The information was so explosive that the report and its dramatic conclusion have never been released or even acknowledged," the author writes. "To this day, it remains the most secret report of the Cold War."

And for good reason.

"Keep in mind the context. Tensions in the Cold War had never run higher. The Soviets had been on the advance in the 1970s, but now President Reagan and his partner in the Vatican were standing up to the threat of Soviet communism," Kengor writes.

"The 1980s intensified fears of World War III between two nuclear-armed superpowers. Now imagine if news broke that the U.S. government had discovered a Soviet-orchestrated assassination attempt on the leader of the world's largest religion, who was a voice for those suffering under Soviet communism."

"A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century," will be published next week by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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The CIA concluded that the Soviet Union's foreign military intelligence agency was behind the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, a new book claims.
reagan, cia, soviets, pope john ii
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2017-46-01
Monday, 01 May 2017 10:46 AM
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