Mehmet Alì Ağca, the man who attempted to assassinated Pope St. John Paul II in 1981, says he wants to become a Catholic priest – but only under one unusual condition.
“Here in Turkey, I live as a pensioner wasting my time,” Alì Ağca told an Italian TV station. “That’s why I want to make an appeal to Pope Francis: Welcome me in the Vatican, and I will become a priest.”
“After John Paul II visited me in prison,” he continued, “I thought about it, and I studied the Gospel at length. I know the sacred books better than many others. If the Pope welcomes me, I’ll be a priest and I will celebrate Mass, if he wants me!”
The prison meeting with John Paul II he is referring to took place in 1983, two years after Alì Ağca had been sentenced life in prison for attempted assassination of the pope. During the meeting, John Paul II famously forgave Alì Ağca. In the years following their meeting, the pontiff also met with some of Alì Ağca’s family members.
Conditioning becoming a priest on meeting the pope is a strange request, to say the least. Alì Ağca has said other strange things over the years. He has previously predicted the end of the world, said he wanted to partner with Dan Brown (author of The Da Vinci Code) on a book, and once released a statement that implied he thought he was Jesus Christ. It’s possible that Alì Ağca suffers from a mental disorder of some kind.
So say a prayer for Alì Ağca!