Remembering the pope’s forgiveness

The Challenger disaster, the shooting of Ronald Reagan, the fatal crash of Ayrton Senna, and the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II — I remember exactly what I was doing for these events. 

But while I don’t remember exactly where I was when I heard of the pontiff’s forgiveness of Mehmet Ali Agca, I was infinitely more impacted by this news than just about anything else. 

So, on goes life, and with life, on goes young Mehmet into middle-age.  And 30 years after his crime in St Peter’s Square, Mehmet emerges from Turkish prison  (he was released from Italian prison in 2000, but was extradited to Turkey to serve out time for other crimes).

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But, Mehmet isn’t wasting any time.  He’s been doing quite a bit of reflecting.  You see, it’s been revealed to Mehmet that the world will end this century, the gospels are full of mistakes, and that he is indeed the messiah — as evidenced by his signature of “The Christ Eternal”.

He’s apparently written to the illustrious Dan Brown  in the hope of having a novel penned.  (I suppose Mr. Brown may turn him down, as there may too much truth in Mehmet’s story).

Upon investigation and further interrogation, there could be additional revelations about the motives, the alleged entities or agencies behind the assassination attempt, or if he was acting on his own.  Of course, nothing uncovered can compete with an elderly man — the target of a bullet — kneeling, praying and forgiving his would-be killer.

This I choose to remember.



  • Laurance Alvarado

    Laurance Alvarado is a senior director with a prominent New York-based international turnaround and restructuring firm and the board chairman of the Morley Publishing Group. Over the last 25 years, he’s run consulting practices in Washington, D.C., Latin America, and the Middle East and has done business in more than 20 countries. He is active in social concerns, attends Traditional Latin Mass, and is a member of the Pinellas Schola Cantualis. He’s a cycling enthusiast, commutes around Washington on a Brompton, races Porsches, and competes in anything with wheels. He’s a native Texan from San Antonio and a Texas Aggie who served his country in the Air Force. He loves history, strategy, free enterprise, sailing, dogs, and — most of all — his bride of 18 years.

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