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Pope John Paul I not poisoned

2012-10-16 18:47

Vatican City - Pope John Paul I, who reigned for just 33 days in 1978 before dying of a heart attack, was definitely not poisoned, the prelate advocating for sainthood for the late pontiff said on Tuesday.

Monsignor Enrico dal Covolo said in an interview with the TGCOM blog that the documents and 167 testimonies he had collected for a report to be submitted to the Vatican on Wednesday dismissed "any suspicion of a murder" of the pope.

He said the documents "definitively" put the conspiracy theory to rest.

The report known as a "position" is a vital precondition in the Catholic Church for candidates for first beatification and then canonisation.

"Benedict XVI is strongly in support of this cause," dal Covolo said.

Wednesday will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Paul I, who was known as the "smiling pope" for his kindly parish priest demeanour.

He was not well seen in the Roman Curia because of his Franciscan humility and the fact he had refused all privileges. The testimonies collected showed he was already suffering from poor health when he was elected.

John Paul I died on 28 September 1978.

The Vatican Insider website reported that the beatification cause for late pope Paul VI who reigned between 1963 and 1978 is also proceeding rapidly.

It said he could be beatified along with John Paul I during the "Year of Faith" which began on October 11 and will end in November 2013.