Jan 11, 2006

John Paul II would've driven the getaway car

Sometimes my church makes me laugh at their marketing ineptitude

Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot John Paul II is set to be released from prison today. He stated that the Vatican secured his release and wanted to express his gratitude.

Catholic World News states:

"Vatican officials have said that the Holy See was not involved-- in fact, not consulted-- before a Turkish court ordered Agca's release. Although Pope John Paul II said that he had forgiven his assailant, Church spokesmen have stressed that the decision to pardon Agca in 2000 was made by President Ciampi himself, without interference from the Vatican."

Ok, here's where I had to laugh. One of the biggest examples of what it means to be Catholic was John Paul II's forgiveness of his attacker. He often stated that clemency should be given to the imprisoned and he had no problem with Agca's release from jail.

And now the geniuses at the Vatican shout from the rooftops that they had nothing to do with his release. Granted that Agca may indeed be lying about the Vatican's intervention (he hasn't always been the most reliable witness), but anyone could see how this looks like the Vatican is saying: "We wish you'd keep him behind bars and lose the key."

Pope John Paul II, a man I admired much for his forgiveness of his attacker, gave us an example of forgiveness that is unparrelled. How are we called to forgive? Can we even forgive those we detest most?

Agca's fear is that his life is in danger. All of his accomplices are dead. Will those who hired him (presumably the KGB) have him bumped off next? If the Vatican is not involved in securing his safety then maybe they should be. I think John Paul II would probably pick him up from the prison himself if he were alive today.

And yet I believe unfortunately that Agca's life indeed will come to an end soon. Could the Vatican have prevented this loss of life? Indeed. Only time will tell how free indeed Mehmet Ali Agca really is today.

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