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"He'd better be careful. It's dangerous to be a honest man."
Michael Corleone, regarding Cardinal Lamberto[src]

Lamberto was a Cardinal who succeeded Pope Paul VI as head of the Roman Catholic Church under the name Pope John Paul I.


Lamberto becomes Pope John Paul I.

"Your sins are terrible, and it is just that you suffer. Your life could be redeemed, but I know you do not believe that. You will not change."
―Cardinal Lamberto to Michael Corleone[src]

Lamberto was a quiet, unassuming Cardinal who was known to be separate from the crooked world of Immobiliare. He was visited by Michael Corleone on the advice of Don Tommasino, and Michael told him of his swindle at the hands of Frederick Keinszig, Licio Lucchesi, and Archbishop Gilday. Upon talking with Lamberto, Michael immediately felt a connection with and great affection for him. Lamberto encouraged Michael to confess his sins. Michael was initially reluctant; he hadn't made a confession in almost 30 years and felt his sins were too horrific to merit forgiveness by God. However, he eventually gave in under the Cardinal's gentle prodding. He eventually broke down in tears when confessing that he ordered his brother Fredo to be killed. Upon the conclusion of the confession, Lamberto told Michael that although his sins were forgiven, he knew that Michael would not change. As such, Michael deserved the inner torment he had been battling for years.

Pope John Paul I

Lamberto dead in his bed

"Need I remind you that this Pope has very different ideas to the last one."
Archbishop Gilday[src]

Upon the death of Paul VI, Lamberto was elected the new Pontiff, as per expected of past pope, he adopted a morganatic moniker, taking the name "John Paul I" upon his accession to the papacy. A thoroughly honest man, he immediately called for an investigation into the activities of the Vatican Bank and requested a meeting with Keinszig, the Bank's chief accountant. However, Keinszig had left Rome with a large sum of money and several documents, which only served to intensify Lamberto's suspicions that foulness was afoot in Vatican Bank. Keinszig, Lucchesi and Gilday feared that the new Pope would expose their corrupt dealings, and plot to murder the Pope. Hours after approving Michael's takeover of Immobiliare, he is found dead in his bed by Sister Vincenza at the Vatican, his tea having been poisoned by Gilday.

Behind the Scenes

  • Lamberto is based on Albino Luciani, who became Pope John Paul I and died very shortly into his papacy and was believed by some to have been murdered.
  • The film shows Lamberto dying in 1980, when in actuality Pope John Paul I passed away in 1978, a.k.a. the "Year of the Three Popes".


Notes and references

External links