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Pope John Paul II (Karel Jozef Wojtyla)

Pope, 1978John Paul II is the first Slav pope and the first nonItalian since Pope Hadrian VI (15223). The pontificate of this former actor has been characterized by a mixture of conservatism and charisma. Born into a poor family, Karel Wojtyla was educated at the Jagellionian University and the Archbishop’s Seminary in Cracow, clandestinely in the latter case due to the Nazi occupation. He was ordained in 1946 and after a period at the Angelicum University in Rome, he served as parish priest and university chaplain. In 1958 he was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Cracow, archbishop in 1964 and cardinal in 1967. He became known outside of Poland thanks to his participation in the Second Vatican Council and a number of lecture tours in the USA.