25 Years Ago in TIME

An Italian commission last week confirmed old theories that the Soviet Union was behind the assassination attempt on POPE JOHN PAUL II.

An instant before it happened, one camera's eye caught a tableau that might serve as the late 20th century's most succinct text on the metaphysics of terrorism. There, on a mellow May afternoon at St. Peter's Square, beneath the encircling Bernini columns, the most vigorously gregarious of Popes rides slowly through a sea of tourists and pilgrims. It is a rite of sweet human communion. The Pope reaches out for babies in the crowd. He gently blesses the faces...

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