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John Paul II

John Paul II

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First Polish Pope and first non-Italian since 1523. Karol Wojtyla is born in Wadowice and joins Krakow's Major Seminary at the age of 22. He is ordained a priest in 1946 and faces opposition from his country's communist government to the Church.
In 1962 he is named Archbishop of Krakow and, five years later, Cardinal. He participated in the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965, and gained notoriety in the ecclesiastical milieu for his remarks on philosophy and theology. Elected Pope in 1978 by the name of John Paul II, he is against Liberation Theology and in favor of a restorative sexual morality of Catholic identity, under increasing secularization.
In his pronouncements, he systematically condemns divorce, abortion and contraception. In 1981, he was shot by Turkish extremist Mehemet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. He visits Brazil three times in 1980, 1991 and 1997. Last time, he stays for four days in the country and participates in the II Meeting with Families, held in Rio de Janeiro. The mass celebrated by him in the Flamengo landfill attracts approximately 2 million people.


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