A photo "showing" the pedophile oligarch Jeffrey Epstein and his lover Ghislaine Maxwell "kneeling" in front of John Paul II and "receiving his blessing" in 2003 was published by TheSun.co.uk (November 20) which is owned by the oligarch Rupert Murdoch.
The noticeably dark picture has some strange features: it is unusual that non-Catholics/non-Christians would kneel in front of a pope; at the time, John Paul II's chair was lifted up during group visits which seems not to be the case in the picture; nor is the inclination of John Paul II's head, due to his Parkinson's disease, visible (picture below).
TheSun.co.uk admits that there is no record of Epstein arriving in Rome but imagines that "pictures like this show just how powerful Epstein’s connections were and his ability to open almost any door.” In reality, John Paul II received hordes of people, and - unlike with Francis - it was not difficult to gain access to him.
Epstein, 66, allegedly committed suicide in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Maxwell, 59, is facing trial in New York, accused of recruiting young girls for Epstein.
John Paul II in 2003: