DAILY CATHOLIC    FRI-SAT-SUN     November 5-7, 1999     vol. 10, no. 210

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue,
go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR

NEW REVELATIONS ON KGB PLOT AGAINST VATICAN

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- For the second straight day, Italian newspapers on November 4 featured new revelations about a Soviet plot to "discredit" the Catholic Church and to "eliminate" Pope John Paul II.

        The Italian media stories have come in response to the discovery of a 600- page dossier in the files of the Czech secret service. That dossier was shared with Italian security officials, who in turn conveyed the documents to the Italian parliament; copies then became available to reporters. Although it is not clear how the contents of the dossier became public, Italian political leaders have conceded that the news reports appear to be an accurate reflection of the contents of the dossier.

        One 47-page section of the dossier concerns the efforts of Soviet-bloc agents to undermine the Catholic Church-- both in Czechoslovakia and in Rome. The documents show that the Soviet secret service, the KGB, had masterminded a plan (code-named "Pagoda") to use disinformation and provocation in order to discredit the Church. The "Pagoda" plan allowed for the "physical elimination, if necessary" of Pope John Paul.

        Since the documents are undated, it is difficult to discern whether the Pagoda plan was a factor in the 1981 effort by Mehmet Ali Agca to assassinate the Holy Father.

        Some of the claims put forward in the Czech dossier have already been denied by key characters. For instance, the dossier reports that listening devices were placed in the offices of the Vatican's longtime Secretary of State, the late Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, by the wife of the cardinal's nephew. But the family of Cardinal Casaroli reports that the individual named in the dossier, Marco Torretta, is not related to the cardinal; Torretta's wife also denies any involvement with the Soviet secret service. Similarly, Archbishop John Bukovski, who is now the papal nuncio in Russia, has emphatically denied the report that he was working with the Soviet secret service while he served in the Vatican Secretariat of State from 1972 to 1990.

        The Vatican has not issued any official comment on the Czech dossier or the Pagoda plan. While the accuracy of the information contained in the dossier cannot be proved, however, the latest revelations furnish new evidence of how seriously the Soviet regime viewed the Catholic Church. Earlier revelations, based on another dossier made public in October, showed that the top priority for KGB officials in Rome was to recruit secret agents within the Vatican.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 5-7, 1999       volume 10, no. 210
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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