Satanists suspected in Pope John Paul II blood theft
PR dla Zagranicy
A Satanic sect is among the suspects after a reliquary containing blood of the late Pope John Paul II was stolen from a remote church in Italy's Apennine Mountains.
Policemen (Carabinieri) in front of San Pietro della Ienca church where a relic of Pope John Paul II was stolen. EPA/CLAUDIO LATTANZIO
A region-wide manhunt involving fifty policemen and sniffer dogs was launched after the gold reliquary and a cross were declared missing at the San Pietro della Ienca church near L'Aquila on Sunday.
“This period of the year is important in the Satanic calendar and culminates in the Satanic ‘new year’ on Feb 1,” commented Giovanni Panunzio, who heads Italian anti-occult group Osservatorio Antiplagio, in an interview with the UK's Daily Telegraph.
“This sort of sacrilege often takes place at this time of the year.
“We hope that the stolen items are recovered as quickly as possible.”
Pope John Paul II had been a keen hiker and skier since his days as a young priest in southern Poland. After he was elected to the papacy in 1978 he visited the Abruzzo area where the theft took place on many occasions.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, current Archbishop of Krakow and former secretary to the Polish pontiff, donated the gold reliquary containing a vial of the pope's blood in May 2011.
“I'm deeply upset that someone dared to steal a drop of Pope John Paul's II's blood,” Cardinal Dziwisz told Poland's RMF FM, adding that the site of the theft “was one of the favourite churches of the Polish pope.”
The donation to the rural church followed the beatification of Pope John II on 1 May 2011.
This April, the late pontiff will be canonised, marking the final stage in his path to sainthood.
The canonisation will serve to make relics connected with the pontiff even higher in value on the black market. (nh)