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Pope John Paul II’s Soviet spy [WSJ paywall]…

Pope John Paul II’s Soviet spy [WSJ paywall]…

Students of the Cold War’s dark arts know that Communist intelligence services deeply penetrated the Vatican in the 1970s. Yet few know that Pope John Paul II, whose centenary will be marked on May 18, had his own secret agent in the Soviet Union during the 1980s. That relationship led to a remarkable personal encounter that helps explain what made the pope the man he was.

John Paul’s unlikely 007 was Irina Ilovayskaya Alberti, the Russian-born widow of an Italian diplomat. A former personal assistant to Alexander Solzhenitsyn…

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