One the conspiracies surrounding John Paul II that is repeatedly brought up by neocon biographers is the suggestion by the KGB that Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia worked as an agent on behalf of the United States in order to get Karol Wojtyla on the papal throne.
Dear reader, I do not know whether or not this conspiracy is true. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that some in the Vatican and the United States were jockeying to place the Polish cardinal in a position of power.
In 1976 the future John Paul II was invited by Pope Paul VI to give the Lenten meditations at the Vatican. Later that year, Cardinal Woytla traveled throughout the United States, attending a Eucharistic Congress in Cardinal Krol’s Philadelphia in August, which was attended by President Gerald Ford.
The mass attended by Gerald Ford was themed “The Eucharist and Man’s Hunger for Freedom” and included a talk by Cardinal Wotyla who spoke on the universal hunger for freedom.
John Paul further said in another statement given in America during a commemoration of the birthday of the United States in September of that year:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.”
This speech was later published in the important neocon mouth piece The Wall Street Journal in 1978 and has been finessed by neocon interpretations ever since.
Two years after his visit to America, John Paul II was elected pope.
Before I engage in any speculation, I want to make a few things clear.
1.) John Paul II repeatedly criticized capitalism and the decadence of the West as well as the Western imperial wars inaugurated by the neocons throughout his life.
2.) Just because John Paul II admired America, it doesn’t mean he was an agent of American intelligence.
3). Just because some American politicians and some members of American intelligence thought John Paul could possibly serve as an asset in the Vatican, it doesn’t mean that he actually did serve as such an asset or that he did not evade being “handled” by American intelligence.
Nonetheless, there are a number of unanswered questions.
- Was John Paul invited to America to be scouted out as a suitable papal candidate?
- Was John Paul II signaling to the Americans during his trip that he was on their side?
- Or is there merely a narrative being crafted over John Paul II’s life and work that is trying to mold him as an agent of American imperialism when, in fact, he was his own man?