Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Ağca expresses no remorse over attempt to assassinate late Pope

The handgun used by Mehmet Ali Ağca in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II is seen during a news conference at the Criminology Museum in Rome last month.

As the Vatican prepares to canonize Pope John Paul II as a saint, the Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Ağca who attempted to assassinate the late Pope in 1981 has expressed no remorse over his act.

In an interview with the Italian ANSA agency, Ağca explained that he felt “no regret” over his failed assassination attempt in 1981 because he is convinced it was all part of a “divine” plan.

“I have seen with indisputable evidence that on May 13, 1981, God performed a miracle in St. Peter’s Square,” said Ağca, who was released in 2010, 10 years after being extradited to Turkey.

“I’m extremely happy to have been at the center of a divine plan that has cost me 30 hellish years in solitary confinement,” Ağca added, once again remaining vague on his motives in the assassination plan.

He denied that it could be seen as the act of a psychopathic individual, as some have suggested. “There’s an immeasurable difference between a divine miracle, such as my assassination attempt, and a psychopathic, unjustifiable crime,” he said.

Ağca had claimed in the past that he was the messiah and was authorized to write and distribute the “true Bible” around the world. While still imprisoned in Italy, he also declared his wish to become a Vatican citizen.

Ağca is also notorious in Turkey for the killing of journalist Abdi İpekçi in 1979, which triggered a wave of unresolved murders of journalists.