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Research Papers on John Paul II

Research paper on John Paul II discuss this major religious figure of the Catholic Church. Religion research papers can focus on any aspect of the Catholic Church or the Papacy.

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) was the leader of the Catholic Church from his election to the pontificate in 1978 to his death in 2005.

  • Born Karol Wojtyla in Poland
  • Was a university student when the Nazis invaded
  • Began clandestinely studying for the priesthood in 1942.
  • Ordained a priest in 1946, he earned a doctoral degree in theology from the Pontifical University in Rome
John Paul II

John Paul II's Ascension

While in Rome, the future John Paul II sought out mystic Padre Pio, who predicted that the young man would one day ascend to the highest office in the Church. In 1958, Pope Pius XII made him Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow, and he later took part in the Vatican II council from 1962-1965. In 1964, he was elevated to the post of Cardinal, as Archbishop of Krakow.

In 1978, following the death of Pope John Paul I, who had reigned only 33 days, Cardinal Wojtyla was elected pope, taking the name John Paul II. He was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years, and at the age of 58 was the youngest pope since Pius IX. John Paul II quickly transformed the idea of the papacy, traveling to 129 countries and spiritually leading the anti-communist movement in his native Poland. In 1981 he survived an assassination attempt.

In his later years, John Paul II was beset with Parkinson’s. He was also criticized for being reactionary and rolling back much of Vatican II. He died in 2005 and was later proclaimed Saint John Paul II or Saint John Paul the Great by the Catholic Church.

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