Could there be a link between Welsh rugby and papal deaths after all?

There may be some truth in the saying "every time Wales win the rugby grand slam, a Pope dies" after all, despite a 2008 BMJ article dismissing it as an urban myth, claims a doctor in a letter to this week's BMJ.

This year saw the of the Coptic pope, Shenouda III, on the very day that Wales won the grand slam, says Edward Snelson, a at Sheffield Children's Hospital. He was pope for 41 years and succeeded Cyril VI, who died in 1971, in the same month that Wales won the grand slam again.

Snelson argues that the 2008 research included only Roman Catholic popes in its analysis thus creating "a potentially false reassurance" and says it is crucial that this new information be brought to the attention of other doctors.

He concludes: "Although the association between these deaths and the may not be fully understood, this research has created a false reassurance and may be putting the lives of other popes at risk."

More information: www.bmj.com

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pope may embrace intelligent design

Aug 28, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI may reportedly embrace the theory of intelligent design, possibly heralding a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution.

Vatican kicks off countdown to JP2 beatification

Mar 14, 2011

(AP) -- The Vatican on Monday kicked off the countdown to Pope John Paul II's beatification by posting a YouTube video of his famous first papal speech, when the Polish-born pontiff asked the Roman crowd in St. Peter's Square ...

Pope to call space station in papal first

Apr 22, 2011

(AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI will be in satellite contact with two Italian astronauts aboard the International Space Station in what would be the first papal call to space.

Recommended for you

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

11 hours ago

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

Ukraine's former world's tallest man dies

Aug 25, 2014

Ukraine's tallest man, who briefly held the world record but gave it up to live as a recluse, has died due to complications from the condition that saw him never stop growing, local media reported Monday.

User comments