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Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 12:17 UK

Pope John Paul 'wounded' in 1982

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Footage of the 1982 attack

A priest who attacked Pope John Paul II in 1982 reached the pontiff with a bayonet and drew blood, it has emerged.

The extent of the injury from the attack in Portugal was kept quiet, a film based on an aide's memoirs says.

The ultra-conservative Spanish priest, Juan Maria Fernandez y Krohn, was convicted and jailed in Portugal.

His attack came a year after the Pope was wounded by Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Agca in St Peter's Square in Rome. The Pope died in 2005, aged 84.

I can now reveal that the Holy Father was wounded. When we got back to the room [in the Fatima sanctuary complex] there was blood
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz

The latest revelation was made in a new documentary film based on the memoirs of the Pope's personal secretary, Stanislaw Dziwisz.

He said that during the Pope's visit to a shrine in Fatima in Portugal, the priest came at the pontiff with a bayonet.

According to Cardinal Dziwisz, the priest managed to draw blood with the weapon but was overcome by the Pope's security guards.

"I can now reveal that the Holy Father was wounded. When we got back to the room [in the Fatima sanctuary complex] there was blood," he says in the documentary.

Priest arrested in Fatima, Portugal 1982
Krohn was sentenced to six and a half years for the attack

The Pope did not reveal the injury at the time and continued with the trip.

There has been no comment from the Vatican on the cardinal's revelations.

The documentary film, Testimony, pulls together material from the Pope's private life as related by Cardinal Dziwisz.

He is now the cardinal of Krakow in Poland and served as John Paul's private secretary for nearly 40 years, including all his 27 years as Pope.

The 90-minute film marks the first time the Vatican has opened its doors to foreign cameras.

Pope Benedict XVI will watch a preview later on Thursday.


SEE ALSO
Late Pope becomes a singing star
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John Paul's last words revealed
18 Sep 05 |  Europe
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08 Apr 05 |  Europe

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