1920-2005                      Holy Father

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karol: a man who became pope

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      Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland on May 18


      Moves to Krakow with his father, also named Karol. Enrolls in the department of philosophy at Jagiellonian University; joins a theater group


      When the Nazis invade Poland in September 1939, moves underground


      Ordained as a priest on Nov. 1


      Consecrated as auxiliary bishop of Krakow on Sept. 28


      Installed as archbishop of Krakow on March 8


      Consecrated as a cardinal by Pope Paul VI on June 28


      Publishes Foundations of Renewal, about his efforts to educate the people of his archdiocese on Vatican II


      Elected successor to Pope John Paul I on Oct. 16, becoming the 264th pope of the Catholic Church, the first Polish pope ever and the first non-Italian to fill the post in 455 years


      Takes first trip abroad on Jan. 25, to Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Bahamas. On June 2, visits Poland for the first time as pope, setting off sparks that help establish Solidarity, the first independent labor movement in the Soviet bloc


      While circling St. Peter's Square on May 13, the pope is shot in the abdomen by a young Turk named Mehmet Ali Agca. Shot is also thought to come from another source, though to this day this person has not been caught. Thought to be a Soviet inspired assassionation attempt


      Meets privately with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat at Vatican on Sept. 29, provoking criticism from Israel and Jewish groups


      Calls for the heads of government of the United States and the Soviet Union to negotiate an end to the arms race on Sept. 29


      Makes historic visit to Rome's main synagogue, the oldest Jewish group in the Diaspora, on April 13


      Official visit of U.S. President Ronald Reagan on June 6


      Official visit of U.S. President George H.W. Bush on May 27. Receives Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the Vatican on Dec. 1 in the first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief


      Issues first encyclical on social issues on May 1 since the fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning rich against taking advantage of poor


      Undergoes surgery for benign tumor on colon on July 15. Leaves hospital on July 28


      Visits former Soviet Union for first time from Sept. 4-10, traveling to Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia. Agreement signed establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Vatican on Dec. 30


      Publishes his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, on Oct. 20


      Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," on March 25, and condemns spreading "culture of death," including abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human embryos


      Undergoes appendectomy on Oct. 8. Returns to Vatican Oct. 15. Meets with Cuban President Fidel Castro on Nov. 19


      Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Libya on March 10, overriding U.S. objections


      Visits Cuba for the first time from Jan. 21-26. On Oct. 18, celebrates 20th anniversary as pope, asking for prayers to fulfill his mission "until the end"


      Meets U.S. President Bill Clinton in St. Louis, Mo. on Jan. 26. Gives permission to start the cause of beatification for Mother Teresa of Calcutta on March 1. Ushers in Vatican millennium Jubilee year by opening Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica on Dec. 24


      Makes first pilgrimage to the Holy Land from March 20-26. In note left at Jerusalem's Western Wall, expresses sorrow for suffering of Jews at the hands of Christians. Also celebrates first papal Mass ever held in Egypt, urging reconciliation between the Vatican and the Egyptian Coptic Church, which split with Rome in the fifth century A.D.


      Mehmet Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate John Paul II in 1981, is granted clemency by Italian President Carlo Ciampi, and extradited to his native Turkey on June 13


      Beatifies much-attacked Pope Pius IX and much-loved Pope John XXIII in one of the most disputed acts of his papacy on Sept. 3


      Becomes first pope to visit Greece since Schism on May 4; issues sweeping apology for "sins of action and omission" by Roman Catholics against Orthodox Christians


      Summons U.S. cardinals to discuss sex abuse scandal on April 23; tells them there is "no place in priesthood for those who would harm the young". Receives U.S. President George W. Bush on May 28


      Between Feb.-March, and weeks before U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq, makes a dramatic appeal for world prayer to avert war and sends top cardinals on peace missions to Washington, D.C., and Baghdad. On May 17, cardinal, in newspaper interview, confirms pope has Parkinson's disease. Between June 5-9, makes 100th foreign trip, visiting Croatia. Vatican launches global campaign against gay marriages on July 31


      U.S. President George W. Bush awards pontiff the Medal of Freedom on June 4. On Aug. 15, breathes heavily and gasps during open-air Mass at Lourdes, France


      Rushed to a hospital in Rome with flu and difficulties breathing on Feb. 1


      Leaves hospital on Feb. 10, returns to the Vatican


      Returns to hospital after a relapse of the flu on Feb. 24; undergoes a tracheotomy to ease his breathing


      Leaves hospital on March 13, returns to the Vatican


      The pope is connected to a nasal feeding tube on March 30


      Pope John Paul II dies at 84 on April 2


      On April 8 and after the greatest funeral the world had seen, Pope John Paul II is laid to rest in a crypt in St. Peter's, Vatican

      the pope


    1. Albania (April 1993)
    2. Angola (June 1992)
    3. Argentina (June 1982, March 1987)
    4. Australia (November 1986, January 1995)
    5. Austria (September 1983, June 1988, June 1998)
    6. Bahamas (January 1979)
    7. Bangladesh (November 1986)
    8. Belgium (May 1985, June 1995)
    9. Belize (March 1983)
    10. Benin (February 1982, February 1993)
    11. Bolivia (May 1988)
    12. Bosnia and Herzegovina (April 1997)
    13. Botswana (September 1988)
    14. Brazil (June 1980, June 1982, October 1991, October 1997)
    15. Burkina Faso (May 1980, January 1990)
    16. Burundi (September 1990)
    17. Cameroon (August 1985, September 1995)
    18. Canada (September 1984, September 1987)
    19. Cape Verde (January 1990)
    20. Central African Republic (August 1985)
    21. Chad (January 1990)
    22. Chile (March 1987)
    23. Colombia (July 1986)
    24. Congo (May 1980)
    25. Costa Rica (March 1983)
    26. Croatia (September 1994, October 1998)
    27. Cuba (January 1998)
    28. Curacao (May 1990)
    29. Czech Republic (April 1990, May 1995, April 1997)
    30. Denmark (June 1989)
    31. Dominican Republic (January 1979, October 1984, October 1992)
    32. Ecuador (January 1985)
    33. Egypt (February 2000)
    34. El Salvador (March 1983, February 1996)
    35. Equatorial Guinea (February 1982)
    36. Estonia (September 1993)
    37. Fiji (November 1986)
    38. Finland (June 1989)
    39. France (May 1980, August 1983, October 1986, October 1988, September 1996, September 1997)
    40. Gabon (February 1982)
    41. Gambia (February 1992)
    42. Georgia (November 1999)
    43. Germany (November 1980, April 1987, June 1996)
    44. Ghana (May 1980)
    45. Great Britain (May 1982)
    46. Greece (2001)
    47. Guam (February 1980)
    48. Guatemala (March 1983, February 1996)
    49. Guinea (February 1992)
    50. Guinea-Bissau (January 1990)
    51. Haiti (March 1983)
    52. Honduras (March 1983)
    53. Hungary (August 1991, September 1996)
    54. Iceland (June 1989)
    55. India (January 1986, November 1999)
    56. Indonesia (October 1989)
    57. Ireland (September 1979)
    58. Israel (March 2000)
    59. Ivory Coast (May 1980, August 1985, September 1990)
    60. Jamaica (August 1993)
    61. Japan (February 1980)
    62. Jordan (March 2000)
    63. Kenya (May 1980, August 1985, September 1995)
    64. La Reunion Island (April 1989)
    65. Lativa (September 1993)
    66. Lebanon (May 1997)
    67. Lesotho (September 1988)
    68. Liechtenstein (September 1985)
    69. Lithuania (September 1993)
    70. Luxembourg (May 1985)
    71. Madagascar (April 1989)
    72. Malawi (April 1989)
    73. Mali (January 1990)
    74. Malta (May 1990, 2001)
    75. Mauritius (October 1989)
    76. Mexico (January 1979, May 1990, August 1993, January 1999)
    77. Morocco (August 1985)
    78. Mozambique (September 1988)
    79. Netherlands (May 1985)
    80. New Zealand (November 1986)
    81. Nicaragua (March 1983, February 1996)
    82. Nigeria (February 1982, March 1998)
    83. Norway (June 1989)
    84. Pakistan (February 1980)
    85. Panama (March 1983)
    86. Papua New Guinea (May 1984, January 1995)
    87. Paraguay (May 1988)
    88. Peru (January 1985, May 1988)
    89. Philippines (February 1981, January 1995)
    90. Poland (June 1979, June 1983, June 1987, June 1991, August 1991, May 1995, May 1997, June 1999)
    91. Portugal (May 1982, March 1983, May 1994, 2000)
    92. Puerto Rico (October 1984)
    93. Romania (May 1999)
    94. Rwanda (September 1990)
    95. Saint Lucia (July 1986)
    96. San Marino (August 1982)
    97. Sao Tome and Principe (June 1992)
    98. Senegal (February 1992)
    99. Seychelles (November 1986)
    100. Singapore (November 1986)
    101. Slovakia (June 1995, May 1996)
    102. Slovenia (September 1999)
    103. Solomon Islands (May 1984)
    104. South Africa (September 1995)
    105. South Korea (May 1984, October 1989)
    106. Spain (October 1982, October 1984, August 1989, June 1993)
    107. Sri Lanka (January 1995)
    108. Sudan (February 1993)
    109. Swaziland (September 1988)
    110. Sweden (June 1989)
    111. Switzerland (June 1982, June 1984, September 1985)
    112. Syria (2001)
    113. Tanzania (September 1990)
    114. Thailand (May 1984)
    115. Togo (August 1985)
    116. Trinidad and Tobago (January 1985)
    117. Tunisia (April 1996)
    118. Turkey (November 1979)
    119. Uganda (February 1993)
    120. United States (September 1979, February 1980, May 1984, September 1987, August 1993, October 1995, January 1999)
    121. Uruguay (March 1987, May 1988)
    122. Venezuela (January 1985, February 1996)
    123. Zaire (May 1980, August 1985)
    124. Zambia (April 1989)
    125. Zimbabwe (September 1988)





    Last Will | Pope John Paul II

      The Pope considered resigning five years ago, when he was racked by ill health and suffering from the effects of Parkinson's disease, it emerged yesterday (7th April 2005).

pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope

    In his last will and testament released on the eve of his funeral, John Paul II wrote of tormented times for himself and his church and wondered, as he turned 80, 'how long I must continue this service'.

    He says he prayed for the 'necessary strength' to continue his mission.

    The document also reveals that John Paul left behind no material possessions except everyday items and asked that his long-time private secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, burn all his personal notes.

    Written in Polish over almost the entire course of his 26-year pontificate, the testament mentions only two people by name - Dziwisz and the retired Chiiefff Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, who welcomed him to Rome's synagogue in 1986 in a historic gesture of reconciliation between Roman Catholics and Jews.

    In the final entry, the Pope appeared to consider stepping aside. He wrote:

      'Now, in the year during which my age reaches 80 years, it is necessary to ask if it is not the time to repeat the words of the Biblical Simeon, "Nunc dimittis".'

    The reference is to the passage, 'Now Master you may let your servant go.'

    He reflected that he had been saved from death in a 1981 assassination attempt 'in a miraculous way', and said his fate was even more in the hands of God.

    Said the testament:

      'From this moment it belongs to Him all the more. I hope He will help me to recognise up to what point I must continue this service,'

    At the time of his entry, the Pope's health was noticeably in decline, his speech had begun to slur and his walk was unsteady because of a hip operation.

    The Pope made several entries in his testament, starting the year after his election in 1978. The final entry was in 2000. Each was written in Polish during Lent, the period of reflection before Easter.

    It revealed he had considered being buried in his native Poland, but later left it up to the College of Cardinals to decide.

    The testament was released as millions of pilgrims brought Rome to a virtual standstill as they joined kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers to take part in the final farewell to John Paul.

    In a sign of his countrymen's pride in him, an estimated two million Poles have converged on the city. More than two million others have also come.

    Behind the doors of the Vatican, and in embassies and residences across the city, more than 100 world leaders were waiting to be part of this sombre but extraordinary spectacle.

    The Prime Minister of the UK and Prince Charles will find themselves in the company of Robert Mugabe, who is defying an EU travel ban to attend. President Bush will be seated alongside representatives of Iran.

    Senior churchmen will be mixed in a unique blend of religions and faiths.

    But the funeral will also be for ordinary people. And throughout yesterday, they made sure they were on the guest list, witnesses to history.

    In the spring sunshine after a chilly, all-night vigil, they took up positions around St Peter's Square. Long before the last pilgrims had filed inside the Basilica to see the Pope lying in state, they had staked their place outside.

    At one stage, more than 700 coaches were carrying visitors to Rome. British and Irish budget airlines had to cancel scores of flights after one of Rome's airports was shut for security reasons.

    Trains, buses and taxis struggled to cope with the incessant flow of arrivals. The authorities sent text messages to all Italian mobiles urging people to stay away.


    pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope

    Mugabe | Flouts EU Ban To Fly In

      EU politicians reacted with anger last night as Robert Mugabe flew into Rome for the Pope's funeral.

    The Zimbabwean president once again thumbed his nose at Brussels and its ban on the dictator and his henchmen travelling to Europe.

    As a formality the African nation, which has an ambassador to the Vatican, has been given two invitations to the funeral.

    The president and his deputies have flown to Europe several times, exploiting EU loopholes on the travel restrictions. On this occasion, he has used Italy's legal obligation to allow visitors to the Vatican - which is not part of the EU - to travel through its territory.

    Socialist MEP Richard Corbett, a spokesman on constitutional law, admitted: "Sadly, in this case the EU's hands are tied.

    'The Vatican is legally an independent state and it's probably true that Mugabe is entitled to free passage. But I hope that all the world leaders present will publicly ostracise him.'

    Robert Mugabe

    - Article Date | (8th April 2005)

    pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope

    Mugabe | Ambush

      Prince Charles was criticised last night after shaking hands with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe at the funeral.

    Charles was said to have been 'caught by surprise' by one of the world's most despised tyrants, whose recent general election win has been widely condemned as a fraud.

    Clarence House stressed last night that the Prince had effectively been ambushed by the African leader, who was seated one place away and leaned over to greet him.

    Said a spokesman:

      'The Prince of Wales was caught by surprise and was not in a position to avoid shaking Mr Mugabe's hand. The prince finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent.'

    Labour Euro MP Richard Corbett said it had been 'stupid' to miss the 'golden opportunity' to snub Mugabe's offer of a handshake.

    His colleague Glenys Kinnock added:

      'I am sure that by now Prince Charles regrets shaking Mugabe's hand.

      'However, this is yet another failure of the Establishment, of people with power and responsibility in the international community, to be sensitive enough about how to respond to this man.'

    Charles & Mugabe

    - Article Date | (8th April 2005)

    pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope pope

    Pope | Electing

      The task of deciding who will be the next pope will begin on Monday 18th April 2005, when 117 cardinels meet in the Sistine Chapel.

    All cardinels under 80 can vote. They will hold two voting rounds a day until they reach a two-thirds majority. After each round, ballot papers are burnt. If after two weeks they have not reached a decision, a pope will be elected by simple majority, and when a decision is made, white smoke will emerge from the chapel chimney

    - Article Date | (8th April 2005)

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