John Paul I Died of Natural Causes
Papa Luciani: Chronicle of a Death is the title of Stefania Falasca’s book which presents a study of the brief pontificate of John Paul I – only 34 days – and refutes the rumors of a murder that appeared after his death.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper Avvenire, relayed by Vatican Radio and the newspaper La Croix, Stefania Falasca asserts that her work respects a rigorous methodology and is based on unpublished sources, both documents and first-hand testimonies. For example, the testimony of Sister Margherita Marin, the nun who discovered the pope’s lifeless body on September 29, 1978.
His sudden death, and the fact that no autopsy was performed, fueled all sorts of rumors, including that of a possible assassination. But the clinical records “leave no room for doubt”, affirms Stefania Falasca. According to his doctor’s report, Pope John Paul I did indeed die of a heart attack, the result of ischemic heart disease.
In the preface to this book, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See, praises the journalist’s work. This book, he declares, sheds light on details that “had remained in the shadows, been amplified and distorted” by black reconstructions, a reference to the “myriad of theories, suspicions, and suppositions” that came up over the past several decades.
Albino Luciani’s pontificate was the shortest in modern times, ever since Leo XI in 1605, who reigned for only 27 days. Stefania Falasca is the vice-postulator for the cause of beatification of Pope John Paul I, whose heroic virtue is currently being examined by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.