Juan María Fernández y Krohn

Juan María Fernández y Krohn (born in Spain in 1950) is a former Roman Catholic priest and former Belgian lawyer who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1982. Ordained a diocesan priest in Madrid, Spain, in 1978, he conditionally joined the Society of Saint Pius X in 1979 but was expelled from that priestly institute in the same year because he openly proclaimed that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's opposition to Pope John Paul II was too weak and also because he showed severe signs of mental instability.

On May 12, 1982 he tried to stab Pope John Paul II with a bayonet in Fatima, Portugal; during his trial, he claimed that he was opposed to the reforms of Vatican II and that he believed Pope John Paul II had been in league with the Soviet Union and even was a secret Communist agent trying to corrupt the Vatican. He received a six-year sentence though he served only three years and then was expelled from Portugal, after which he moved to Belgium. By then, he had already given up the Roman Catholic priesthood entirely. In Belgium he became a respected but controversial lawyer known for his violent acts in the court rooms. During the beginning of his career as a lawyer, he was accused of slapping judge Mr Darré in the face with his hand and also for spreading anti-semitic propaganda which he allegedly handed out in the councillors' room of the Brussels Palace of Justice.

In 1996, in Spain he was charged with setting fire to a local centre of the Herri Batasuna, the Party of Basque separatists.

He was arrested again in July 2000 after climbing over a security barricade at the Royal Palace of Brussels, intent on killing either Belgian King Albert II or the approaching Spanish King Juan Carlos. He received a five-year sentence.

During his trials, it was claimed that Fernández y Krohn might suffer from mental illness as his outbreaks of extreme violence would seem to indicate.

External links

* [http://www.gva.be/dossiers/-k/koningshuis/actua2000/actua147.asp Article in Dutch on the attack on King Albert II or King Juan Carlos] including a picture of Fernández y Krohn being taken away by police men

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