Rome: The politics of electing the next pope moved into bizarre territory with rumours sweeping Rome of a conservative plot to secure the papacy.
In a conspiracy theory worthy of a Dan Brown novel, liberals suggested that Pope John Paul II had died a day earlier than was officially declared but the news was withheld to give the conservatives an advantage.
According to the rumours, said to have come from sources in the Italian Government and believed by senior cardinals, the Pope died on Friday.
The theory goes that conservatives close to the Pope decided that if they had an extra day they could mobilise many more sympathetic Roman Catholics from around the world to converge on Rome for the Pope's funeral.
The event would then become one of the biggest mass rallies in Catholic history and increase the momentum in favour of the Pope being elevated to sainthood in record time.
In this heady atmosphere, the speculation goes, the conservative plotters could then ensure the election of another doctrinally conservative figure in the mould of John Paul II.
The rumour may sound far fetched but the fact that it is circulating among - and is believed by - informed liberal Vatican-watchers was an indication of the febrile mood possessing Rome after the Pope's death.
"They managed all this in the Pope's last hours to mobilise the Polish people and the conservative and charismatic movements, like Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation and the Neo Catechumenates, for the purpose of creating a huge turnout for the funeral," an academic said.
"This will provide momentum for calls for the canonisation of the Pope and create the atmosphere that will help the conservatives secure the succession."
This pope lived exactly 31,000 days; a "31" is commonly viewed by the occultist as a hidden "13", the number of extreme rebellion against constituted authority . Having been born on May 18, 1920, and having died on April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II lived exactly -- precisely 31,000 days! Also, Pope paul II lived exactly 31,000 days; a "31" is commonly viewed by the occultist as a hidden "13". Having been born on May 18, 1920, and having died on April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II lived exactly -- precisely 31,000 days! However, what is really startling is that, not only will this Pontiff be buried in Sun God tradition on a Solar Eclipse, but a Solar Eclipse occurred on May 18, 1920, the very day he was born! April 8, the day he will be buried, is also significant in another matter: it falls on the New Moon, as all eclipses do! In Witchcraft, the New Moon is the time when a witch casts an evil, Black Magick spell, for the hurt of mankind; the Full Moon is the time when a witch casts a good, White Magic spell for the good of mankind.