‘IN GOD’S NAME’ by David Yallop – A Book Review

I first read In God’s Name in the early 1990s when I was at university, and although I was by then a lapsed, disillusioned Catholic, nothing prepared me for the revelations in the book. Until then I had no idea how deeply corrupt the Vatican/Catholic Church was, and specifically, the Vatican Bank. I have recently read it again.

Then I saw a Daily Mail post:

Mobster claims he helped Poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide and threatened to kill Pope John Paul II because they both tried to expose a billion dollar stock fraud scam involving cardinals and gangsters in Vatican City. (see full post below).

Needless to say, this time I was more prepared, what with the child sexual abuse scandal that has since rocked the Church to its core. The comments by the mobster confirm everything that investigative journalist David Yallop had revealed in  his book about the murder of a  pope… In summary:

During the late evening of September 28th or the early morning of September 29th,1978, Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani, known as the smiling pope, died only thirty-three days after his election. The cause of death (Vatican officials refused to allow an autopsy) was announced to the world by the Vatican as ” myocardial infarction”. Yallop interviewed many people when he was writing In God’s Name including the pope’s  long  time personal physician. The doctor was absolutely shocked because as he told Yallop, his patient, a relatively young pope in his 60s,  was in perfect health and the only pills he took, were extra vitamins and  mild medication for low blood pressure.

During his research for the book, Yallop uncovered a huge chain of corruption  linking leading figures in financial, political, criminal, and clerical circles around the world in a conspiracy. The new pope was, although a humble man who enjoyed a simple lifestyle, a fierce opponent of corruption with an inner strength that must have alarmed his ‘minders’ when he ordered an investigation into the Vatican Bank, and the  methods employed by its President, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus. Yallop’s intensive research over three years maps the subsequent cover-ups and  upheavals within the Vatican,  and the actions of the mysterious and illegal branch of Freemasonry called P2  extending far beyond Italy in its accumulation of wealth and power , and also penetrating the Vatican.

In God’s Name is an informative and educational  read for Catholics and non-Catholics alike; for anyone who still believes that religious organisations are  in existence purely to set humanity’s moral compass or to direct the worship of culturally specific gods.  -Anne Frandi-Coory 


The Daily Mail Post:
Mobster claims he helped Poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide and threatened to kill Pope John Paul II because they both tried to expose a billion dollar stock fraud scam involving cardinals and gangsters in Vatican City.

A mobster from the Colombo mafia family claims he helped poison Pope John Paul I with cyanide 33 days into his reign to stop the pontiff from exposing a billion dollar stock fraud scam. The startling revelation comes from 69-year-old Anthony Raimondi’s new novel When the Bullet Hits the Bone.

Raimondi was a loyal member of the Colombo family – one of the notorious five Italian mafia families in New York City.

The Colombo family dealt in a host of criminal enterprises, including racketeering, contract killing, arms trafficking and loansharking.

The scene begins in 1978 when Raimondi, the nephew of infamous godfather Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano, was recruited by his cousin Paul Marcinkus, who ran the Vatican bank in Vatican City.

The New York Post reports that Raimondi’s job was to learn the Pope’s daily habits and be there when Marcinkus spiked John Paul’s nightly cup of tea with Valium.

Raimondi notes that the Valium worked so well that the Pope wouldn’t have woken up ‘even if there had been an earthquake.’

He said: ‘I stood in the hallway outside the Pope’s quarters when the tea was served.’

‘I’d done a lot of things in my time, but I didn’t want to be there in the room when they killed the Pope. I knew that would buy me a one-way ticket to hell.’

Meanwhile, Marcinkus prepared a dose of cyanide for the Pope.

‘He measured it in the dropper, put the dropper in the Pope’s mouth and squeezed. When it was done, he closed the door behind him and walked away,’ Raimondi said.

Shortly after, a papal assistant reportedly checked on the Pope and screamed that ‘the Pope was dying!’

At which point, Marcinkus and two other cardinals rushed into the bedroom and pretended to be horrified by what they saw.

Raimondi said if the Pope had kept his mouth shut, ‘he could have had a nice long reign.’

Next on the list was John Paul II, who seemed set on exposing the inside job as well.

Raimondi, a [self] made man, was called back to the Vatican and told to prepare for a second murder at the behest of the fraudsters.

He reportedly told them: ‘No way. What are you going to do? Just keep killing popes?’

Knowing he risked being killed by the mobsters, John Paul II allegedly chose to keep quiet about the illegal dealings.

John Paul II would go on to serve the second longest reign in modern history before he died at age 84 in 2005.

This apparently prompted days of drunken partying for the mobsters and corrupt cardinals in Vatican City.

Raimondi said: ‘We stayed and partied for a week with cardinals wearing civilian clothes, and lots of girls.’

‘If I had to live the rest of my life in Vatican City, it would have been OK with me. It was some setup. My cousins all drove Cadillacs. I am in the wrong business, I thought. I should have become a cardinal.’

Raimondi dismisses those who question his story or say it closely resembles ‘The Godfather III.’

‘It was a terrible movie. To tell you the truth I don’t really remember it,’ Raimondi told The Post.

‘What I said in the book I stand by till the day I die. If they take [the pope’s body] and do any type of testing, they will still find traces of the poison in his system.’


  1. cav12 said:

    I had watched a documentary about the links between the mafia and the Vatican. I can’t remember what is was called, sorry, but it was very interesting to watch.


  2. Anne said:

    The Catholic Church and the Mafia … I have read many books about the mafia, Luciana, because its origins have always fascinated me; Italian Mafia families were always Catholic, so no surprises that the Mafioso have had strong links to the Vatican, and probably still do.


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