Former Papal Assailant Sought Before Fatima Visit 

LISBON (CWNews.com) - Portuguese security officials on Thursday were seeking a former priest who once tried to kill Pope John Paul II on the eve of the papal visit to the Fatima shrine.

The police publicly sought the help of Interpol and European police to determine the whereabouts of Spaniard Juan Fernandez Krohn purely as a precautionary measure. "We would like to know where he is, that is all," a spokesman said. 

During a papal visit to Fatima, Krohn lunged at the Holy Father with a bayonet as he knelt to pray, but failed to harm the Pontiff. He served a six-year sentence and was expelled from Portugal. Until recently, the former priest lived in Belgium, but recently left his home. According to trial records, Krohn blamed the Pope for what he viewed as the Church's increasing liberal stance.

The Holy Father begins his third visit to Fatima on Friday and will beatify two of the three shepherd children who received visions of the Virgin Mary at the site in 1917. The beatification will fall on the 83rd anniversary of the first apparition and the 19th anniversary of the day when the Pope was shot and wounded by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square. 

 

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