JOHN PAUL II
(1978 -)
Poland

Karol Jozef Wojtyla (1920 - ), the first non-Italian Pope for 450 years. Renowned for his earlier scholarship as a moral theologian in the universities of Lublin and Krakow, as also for his poetry and love of skiing. He unyielding commitment to maintaining the authority of the church, whilst standing firm in the love of God for the world, proved a strategically significant factor in the collapse of Eastern European Communism. It also created consternation for those, both in his own and other churches, who are looking for changes in Roman Catholic teaching on birth control, clerical celibacy and women’s ordination to the priesthood.


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