John Paul II

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Pope John Paul II (1978)
John Paul II, badly marked by his Parkinson's disease (2004)
Signature of John Paul II
John Paul II on a € 2 coin in Vatican City
The coat of arms of John Paul II. The motto of John Paul, Totus tuus ("All yours"), and the M in the lower right quadrant of the coat of arms refer to the Mother of God .

John Paul II ( Latin Ioannes Paulus PP. II. , Bourgeois Karol Józef Wojtyła [ ˈkarɔl ˈjuzɛf vɔjˈtɨu̯a ]; debate ? / I ; * May 18, 1920 in Wadowice , Poland ; † April 2, 2005 in Vatican City ) was from 16 October 1978 Pope of the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years and 5 months until his death . A longer pontificate is only for Pius IX. proven. John Paul II was the firstAudio file / audio sample Slav on the papal throne. He is assigned a crucial role in ending socialism in his home country, Poland. Benedict XVI spoke to him on May 1, 2011 . Blessed in Rome . On April 27, 2014 John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis . His feast day is October 22, the day of his enthronement in 1978.


Childhood and adolescence

Karol Wojtyła was born on May 18, 1920 in Wadowice , a small town near Kraków . His father Karol - a trained tailor - was a lieutenant in the Polish army after serving as a non-commissioned officer in the Austro-Hungarian army until 1918 . The mother, Emilia Wojtyła, née Kaczorowska, was a housewife and died when Karol was eight years old. At the age of twelve he lost his older brother Edmund (* 1906), who died of scarlet fever on December 5, 1932 as a young doctor in Bielitz (now Bielsko-Biała ) . His older sister had died before he was born.

In his childhood, Karol was very athletic and often played soccer as a goalkeeper. He was a fan of KS Cracovia (Krakow Sports Club). In his formative years he was influenced by numerous contacts with the Jewish community in Wadowice. Football games were often organized in the school between a Jewish and a Catholic team. Karol Wojtyła often voluntarily played as a goalkeeper for the Jewish team when they didn't have enough players. He was very close friends with Jerzy Kluger , one of his friends at the time, until his death.

From 1930 he attended high school and from 1934 took part in theater performances. Wojtyła was an acolyte , was considered an ambitious student and finished school with top marks. In the summer of 1938 his father moved with him to Kraków in the Dębniki district . Wojtyła enrolled in the Jagiellonian University to study Philosophy and Polish Literature . Three years later, in 1941, his father died.

At the university Wojtyła joined the experimental theater group "Studio 39" around Tadeusz Kudliński, in which he worked until 1943, most recently in the underground. He also wrote literary texts: In addition to various poems, he wrote the three-part drama Jeremiasz ( Jeremia ) in 1940 under the pseudonym Andrzej Jawien , a biblically inspired mystery play with a political reference. He was also involved in the Rhapsodic Theater . His mystery play In the Goldsmith's Shop was published in 1960.

After the German attack in September 1939, the university was closed by the German occupying forces , 183 professors were arrested as part of the Krakow special campaign , some of whom died in concentration camps . Wojtyła continued his studies in the underground university, but was forced to do construction work in the Generalgouvernement and was employed in a quarry and from spring 1942 to August 1944 in a chemical factory; in this way he was able to prevent his deportation to Germany for forced labor .

Wadowice and Krakow are places that were heavily influenced by Jewish culture up until the Second World War , which shaped Wojtyła's positive relationship to Judaism. In October 1942 he entered the secret seminary of the Archdiocese of Krakow . From August 1944 until the end of the war in 1945 he found refuge in the residence of the Krakow Archbishop Adam Stefan Sapieha .

Priest and professor

On November 1, 1946, Wojtyła received the priestly ordination of Adam Stefan Sapieha in secret and in the following two years received his doctorate on his instructions in Rome at the Angelicum on the doctrine of faith of St. John of the Cross . On July 3, 1947, he obtained a licentiate in theology and in June 1948 a doctorate in philosophy (with the grade summa cum laude ).

Karol Wojtyła then worked as a chaplain in Niegowić near Gdów and later in the Kraków student church of St. Florian, where he soon became known for his sermons. He received his doctorate in theology at the end of 1948 .

From 1953 Wojtyła taught as a professor of moral theology in Cracow and in 1954 received a teaching position for philosophy and social ethics at the Catholic University of Lublin , where he wrote in 1953 with a thesis entitled “Assessment of the possibilities of reconstructing Christian ethics on the basis of the prerequisites of the ethical system of Max Scheler ”completed his habilitation . During this time his most important and most frequently performed stage work in Poland, The Brother of Our God , was created, in which some central beginnings of his main philosophical work Person und Tat (1969) can already be seen.

Bishop and Cardinal

Visited the Church of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary in Krakow in early June 1967, shortly before he was promoted to Cardinal

On September 28, 1958, Karol Wojtyła was ordained bishop by Eugeniusz Baziak , after he had been appointed auxiliary bishop in Kraków with the titular diocese of Ombi on July 4 of the same year . He took part in the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965 ; His main focus was on religious freedom and a contemporary proclamation of church doctrine, which deal with the Council documents Dignitatis humanae and Gaudium et spes .

On January 13, 1964, Wojtyła followed Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak in the office of Archbishop of Cracow. His episcopate in Krakow was mainly characterized by a "gentle" confrontation with the communist regime of Poland. His insistence on building the Church of the Mother of God, Queen of Poland in the new working class town of Nowa Huta , and his sermons, in which he often called for the free exercise of religion for all Poles, showed him to be an intrepid anti-communist . In 1965 he played a key role in the appeal of the Polish bishops to their German brothers in office for reconciliation , calling for reconciliation between Poles and Germans. This also made him the object of sharp attacks by the communist rulers. On June 26, 1967 Wojtyła was elevated to cardinal priest with the titular church pro hac vice San Cesareo in Palatio . During this time Karol Wojtyła continued his active scientific work, in 1969 he published a philosophical “Credo” of his own personalism in the monograph Person and Action and took part in various Polish-Italian philosophical congresses and conferences.

Pope John Paul II after his election on the benediction loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, October 16, 1978

In the course of the church's efforts to achieve German-Polish reconciliation, Wojtyła visited the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974 and celebrated a holy mass with Julius Cardinal Döpfner on September 19 at the Carmel Holy Blood on the edge of the Dachau concentration camp memorial . As Pope he later beatified 48 of the priests imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp. A last visit to Germany before his election took place in 1978 at the side of the Primate of Poland, Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński .


The term of office of John Paul II lasted from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005. These more than 26 years included the NATO double decision , the change of course of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev from 1985 ( glasnost and perestroika ) , the collapse of the Eastern Bloc , the opening of the Iron Curtain in 1989, the overthrow of almost all communist governments in Central Europe , the end of the Cold War , the collapse of the Soviet Union , the collapse of Yugoslavia , wars in the former Yugoslavia , the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 , Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq .

John Paul II sought the public more than his predecessors, did not shy away from the mass media and was occasionally called the “media pope”. It was considered an exception compared to its predecessors. This contributed to the fact that, as “the youngest Pope in the 20th century”, he was also “the first Slavic Pope”, as well as having “a broad horizon of knowledge”, “a strong charisma ” and a dry sense of humor, with which he “also inspires the masses as was convincing in a personal conversation ”.

Choice and early years

On October 16, 1978, Karol Wojtyła was elected by the 111 cardinals gathered for the conclave (in the 8th ballot with 99 votes, other sources cite 97 votes) in the Sistine Chapel as the successor of John Paul I, who died on September 28, 1978, to the ecclesiastical Census 264. Pope and Bishop of Rome elected. This made him the first non-Italian pope since Hadrian VI. (* 1459 in Utrecht , now the Netherlands, elected Pope in 1522) and, as a Pole, the first Slavic Pope in church history. Edward Gierek , then head of the Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza , commented on the election of Wojtyłas far-sightedly: “A great event for the Polish nation - and great difficulties for us!” When he was elected at the age of 58, John Paul II was the youngest Pope since Pius IX . He was also in extremely good physical shape. In contrast to other popes before him, he played sports, he swam and skied regularly. The Pope is said to have secretly left the Vatican more than a hundred times to go skiing.

On March 4, 1979, John Paul II published his inaugural encyclical Redemptor Hominis , which made him appear as the “Pope of Human Rights”.

In the first years of the pontificate , the insistence on religious freedom and the associated confrontation with the communist regimes of Eastern Europe were in the foreground. The foreign policy of John Paul II towards the Eastern Bloc differed here from that of his predecessors, who were more willing to compromise. Nevertheless, in 1979 he appointed Agostino Casaroli, an architect of this compromising Ostpolitik, as cardinal state secretary . The Polish party leadership could not prevent a pastoral trip home due to its popularity. From June 2 to 10, 1979, he visited his home country Poland for the first time as Pope. In Poland about ten million people saw the Pope, a quarter of the entire Polish population. John Paul II became a symbol of the Polish resistance. His visit to Poland was symbolic not least because 1979 marked the 900th anniversary of the death of Stanislaus von Szczepanów , one of Wojtyła's predecessors in the office of Bishop of Kraków, who was a symbol of the Polish will for freedom because of his resistance against the tyrannical King Bolesław II is and is revered as a national hero.


Welcoming the crowd in St. Peter's Square, April 22, 1987

On May 13, 1981 (it is Fátima Remembrance Day ), the Turkish right-wing extremist Mehmet Ali Ağca fired at least two pistol shots at close range at 5:17 p.m. at John Paul II as he was driving slowly in an open popemobile on the way to the general audience the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square passed. One bullet struck the Pope in the left hand and shoulder, and a second penetrated his abdomen. Since he was immediately taken to Gemelli Hospital , the doctors saved his life with a five-hour operation that removed a piece of the perforated bowel. Against the advice of the doctors, he returned to the Vatican on June 3rd. However, a severe postoperative viral infection forced him to go to the clinic for an additional 24 days on June 20.

The perpetrators of the attack were suspected to be with the Soviet secret service KGB . For a long time, however, it remained a suspicion, since Ağca persistently remained silent about the background to the attack until March 2005. In 2006 a committee of inquiry of the Italian parliament came to the conclusion that the attack was carried out on behalf of Brezhnev by the military intelligence service of the Soviet Union ( GRU) in cooperation with the Bulgarian secret service. The Pope caused a sensation in December 1984 when he visited the assassin, whom he had already forgiven on his sickbed, after recovering in prison.

Since the devotion to Mary was particularly important for John Paul II and the assassination attempt was carried out on the feast day of Our Lady in Fatima , on which the first apparition of Mary had occurred in the Portuguese city of Fátima in 1917 , John Paul II attributed his salvation to the Blessed Mother and thanked him himself with a pilgrimage to the Portuguese pilgrimage site. He brought the bullet, which had been removed from his stomach and had meanwhile been gilded and set in a small crown, as a gift to the Madonna of Fátima.

On May 12, 1982, during the Pope's pilgrimage to Portugal to thank him for having survived the assassination attempt, the priest Juan María Fernández y Krohn attempted another assassination attempt on the Pope with a bayonet , but was overwhelmed by the bodyguards will. The assassin justified his actions with the "rescue" of the Catholic Church before the decisions of the Second Vatican Council .

Travel activity

Countries visited by John Paul II
First visit of the newly elected Pope to his native Poland in 1979
John Paul II on the flight from Rome to Zurich

John Paul II took more notice of the representative aspects of the papacy. This was particularly evident in the Pope's 104 trips abroad, called pastoral visits, on which he visited 127 countries. His travels quickly earned him the nickname “hurried father”. John Paul II made more trips abroad during his tenure than all previous Popes combined. He started his first trip, which took him to the Dominican Republic , Mexico and the Bahamas , around three months after his election. When John Paul II first set foot in a country, he showed his devotion by kneeling and kissing the ground.

The trips to his homeland, through which he strengthened the Polish resistance against the communist regime, were of particular political importance.

From May 28 to June 2, 1982, John Paul II was the first Pope to visit Great Britain since the Anglican Church separated 450 years ago . During his stay, he was received by Queen Elizabeth II and attended an ecumenical service in Canterbury Cathedral . In 2000 the Pope went on a journey to the Holy Land ( Israel , Jordan , Palestinian territories ).

In September 1990 John Paul II visited Africa again and inaugurated the Basilica Notre Dame de la Paix (Our Lady of Peace), a monstrous “gift to the Vatican” from the President of the Ivory Coast , Houphouët-Boigny. The prerequisite for accepting the gift was the promise to build a hospital near the basilica.

On January 15, 1995, the Pope held the largest service in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in Manila in front of four million people. It was also the largest known gathering in human history. On January 21, 1998, he went on a pilgrimage to socialist Cuba .

John Paul II first visited the Federal Republic of Germany as Pope in November 1980, further visits to Germany followed in 1987 and 1996. He visited Austria in 1983, 1988 and 1998, Switzerland in 1982, 1984, 1985 and 2004.

Face-to-face meetings

John Paul II and US President Ronald Reagan in February 1984

In addition to the trips, the personal meetings with secular rulers and religious dignitaries, with whom the Pope often set standards, were characteristic of the term of office of John Paul II. In 1982, for example, he received the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat . Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall - on December 1, 1989 - he met Mikhail Gorbachev  - it was the only time that a General Secretary of the CPSU was received by a Pope. In March 1999, a meeting between the Pope and Iranian President Mohammed Khatami took place in the Vatican , which was rated as a historic event .

On October 27, 1986, there was an interreligious peace meeting initiated by John Paul II in Assisi with high-ranking representatives of the major world religions , at which the Pope invited all religions, each in his tradition, to pray for peace. In response to the attacks of September 11th and the war in Afghanistan that followed , the Pope organized a second prayer of the world's religions on January 24th, 2002.

There were numerous visits and holidays together with the philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka , with whom he had a close friendship since 1976. She last visited him the day before his death. The importance of this relationship for the Pope is clear from the documented intensive correspondence. The Vatican ignored the existence of this relationship.

Holy years

Holy Year of Salvation 1983

On March 25, 1983, the feast of the Annunciation , John Paul II proclaimed an extraordinary “ Holy Year of Redemption” and opened the Holy Door . The Holy Year of Redemption ended on Easter Sunday, 1984.

Holy year 2000

With the opening of the Holy Door on December 25, 1999, the celebrations for the Holy Year 2000 began . On March 12, 2000, the Pope pronounced a “ Mea culpa ” for the Church because of its wrongdoings such as religious wars , persecution of the Jews and the Inquisition . Eight days later he began a trip to Israel , Jordan and the Palestinian Territories , during which he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel and prayed at the Western Wall .

In the Holy Year 2000, the so-called “ third secret of Fatima ” , which had been kept secret by the Vatican, was announced to the public by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger . In it, the apparition of Fatima is said to have predicted the assassination attempt on a Pope, a prophecy that John Paul II referred to.

The Holy Year 2000 was also the year of the 80th birthday of John Paul II. On this occasion on May 18, 2000, Nobel Prize winner Czesław Miłosz dedicated an ode to the Pope .

In John Paul II's request for forgiveness, Mea culpa, in the Holy Year 2000, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, uttered the words “that people of the Church also do their necessary work in the name of faith and morality have sometimes resorted to gospel methods to protect the truth ”. This is interpreted in comments as an apology by the Church for the witch hunts.

Sickness and death

The ailing Pope John Paul II on September 22, 2004
German special stamp on the occasion of the death of Pope John Paul II.

As early as the 1990s, John Paul II had to undergo several operations. On July 15, 1992, a benign tumor was removed from his colon . On April 29, 1994, he broke his thigh in a fall in the bathroom and had to have an artificial hip joint inserted.

In the last years of his life, John Paul II was increasingly impaired in his administration by Parkinson's disease with symptoms of paralysis and difficulty speaking. He also suffered from the aftermath of the 1981 attack and from severe arthritis in his right knee as a result of hip surgery. Outsiders repeatedly suggested that the Pope resign. John Paul II, meanwhile, declared that he was placing the duration of his term in office in God's hands.

In early 2005, the 84-year-old's health deteriorated dramatically. On February 1, 2005, he was brought to the Gemelli Clinic in Rome with a laryngitis and shortness of breath . After his release on February 10th, he had to be admitted again on February 24th to have an incision made in the trachea . On March 13, 2005, John Paul II returned to the Vatican. On March 20 and 23 he showed himself to the believers in St. Peter's Square at the window of his study and from there silently donated the blessing Urbi et orbi on Easter Sunday (March 27) . The Pope was there for the last time on March 30, 2005. He was already artificially fed through a permanent tube in his nose.

The next day he was feverish and received the anointing of the sick . On April 2nd, 2005 around 3:30 pm he spoke his last words in Polish in a very weak and broken voice: "Let me go to the father's house!" Shortly before 7 pm he fell into a coma. From 8 p.m. Stanisław Dziwisz celebrated Holy Mass at the foot of the bed with the participation of Cardinal Marian Jaworski , Stanisław Ryłko and Mieczysław Mokrzycki . "At 9:37 p.m. John Paul II fell asleep in the Lord," says the detailed report on the last days of the Pope, which the Vatican published on September 19, 2005 as a supplement to its official gazette, the Acta Apostolicae Sedis - Commentarium Officiale, published on April 17, 2005.

Cardinal creations

Pope John Paul II made most of the cardinal creations in history. During his almost 27-year pontificate, he appointed 231 cardinals, 121 of whom were still alive at the 2013 conclave . Of the 50 who had not yet exceeded the age limit of 80, 48 took part in this conclave.

Viewpoints and actions

Moral teaching

Sexual morality

John Paul II stuck to the church teaching that artificial contraception is not allowed for Catholics. Even before his tenure as Pope, he was instrumental in the encyclical Humanae vitae (1968) Paul VI. participated, in which the Catholic doctrine of marriage is presented and, inter alia. the birth control pill is rejected as a contraceptive.

In the encyclical Evangelium Vitae (1995), John Paul II rejected other interventions in human reproductive capacity, such as sterilization , and took the view that the use of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases was not allowed. Instead, he recommended sexual abstinence. Because of this statement, John Paul II was often exposed to criticism from the United Nations and other organizations and groups, and church critics (such as Uta Ranke-Heinemann ) held joint responsibility for the spread of the immune deficiency disease AIDS . Defenders of the papal line, however, argue that HIV infection rates are highest in countries that are not predominantly Catholic and that the spread of AIDS in Africa is primarily due to inadequate health education.

John Paul recommended sexual abstinence to homosexuals . He expected Roman Catholic politicians to reject the legal recognition of homosexual partnerships, regardless of whether it took the form of an expansion of the concept of marriage to same-sex partnerships or the introduction of the legal institution of a registered partnership . The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, published a declaration to this effect in the summer of 2003, which was approved by John Paul II. German politicians, including the then FDP chairman Guido Westerwelle and SPD general secretary Olaf Scholz , criticized the Pope's position.


As early as the 1990s, John Paul II had spoken out emphatically against a change in the laws in his home country Poland: abortion was murder.

Relying on his primacy of jurisdiction of the Pope led the German bishops in autumn 1999, in crisis pregnancy counseling by church organizations issuing a counseling certificate to ban because it was in Germany a precondition for a criminal free abortion up to the third month of pregnancy. Church-sponsored counseling centers thus lost their state recognition. The majority of German bishops did not want to give up Catholic pregnancy counseling within the state system and had tried in vain to get their arguments heard by the Pope since 1995. As early as January 1998, John Paul II wrote to the German Bishops' Conference calling for the bishops to withdraw from pregnancy conflict counseling. The bishops were of the opinion that Catholic pregnancy counseling is an important contribution to the protection of unborn life. After the Catholic Church left the state system, the donum vitae association was founded . Instead of the previous church sponsors, it offers “Catholic pregnancy counseling” within the state system.

In his book Memory and Identity - Conversations on the Threshold between the Millennia (2005), John Paul II called for questions about abortion laws . Parliaments that allow women to have abortions by law should be aware that by doing so they are exceeding their powers and coming into open conflict with the law of God and natural law .

Social ethics

In addition to his criticism of communism and socialism , John Paul II was a sharp critic of neoliberal capitalism . He took a firm stand for the rights of the poor and workers and attacked the exploitation and violation of human rights, for example in his encyclicals Laborem exercens (1981) and Sollicitudo rei socialis (1987). The 1991 encyclical Centesimus annus , published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first papal social encyclical Rerum Novarum , accepts the social market economy with greater clarity than previous documents. In the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published by the Vatican in 2004 (German translation 2006), the main features of Catholic social doctrine are summarized in a concise form. According to John Paul II, however, the social order is only part of a “civilization of love”, which he, following on from a formulation by Pope Paul VI. from 1975, especially for young people as a program.

John Paul II was the first Pope to openly oppose the Mafia. During a Eucharistic celebration in the “Valley of the Temples” in Agrigento, Sicily on May 9, 1993, he spoke out clearly against the Mafia.


For John Paul II, the ongoing environmental degradation had a moral component. It is a consequence of the unbalanced relationship between man and creation . The ecological catastrophe can only be prevented by returning to Christian values. For him, the causes of the ecological problems were not only political obstacles such as forms of exaggerated nationalism and economic interests, but in particular the lack of solidarity among people. John Paul II repeatedly asked to take responsibility for oneself, for others and for the earth. He therefore emphasized the “ecological vocation” of all Christians, who propagated a conversion to ecologically sustainable lifestyles and global solidarity as an indispensable testimony to faith and life in modern society. It is an expression of reverence for the Creator and at the same time responsibility for future generations.

Interreligious Dialogue

John Paul II with Bill Clinton at World Youth Day in Denver (1993)

John Paul II was more committed than his predecessors to interreligious dialogue , in particular to dialogue with Judaism , whose representatives he called the “older brothers and sisters of Christians”, and Islam . These efforts found visible expression in the two world prayer meetings of the religions that he organized in 1986 and 2002 in Assisi . During the World Youth Days he initiated , John Paul II emphasized the dialogue between cultures and religions. On April 13, 1986, John Paul II visited the great synagogue of Rome and was the first Pope to ever enter a synagogue , and on May 6, 2001, with the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, he was the first Pope to enter a mosque .

On March 16, 1998, the Vatican Commission on Religious Relations with the Jews published the document Reflecting on the Shoah , complaining about the complicity of Christians in the Holocaust . The papal mea culpa on March 12, 2000 was designated as a historical act. In it, John Paul II had admitted ecclesiastical misconduct in connection with religious wars, persecution of the Jews and the Inquisition. On his pilgrimage to Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Territories in 2000, the Pope prayed at the Western Wall , the most important Jewish shrine, and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial . Earlier, on December 30, 1993, the Vatican's basic treaty with Israel on the establishment of diplomatic relations was signed in Jerusalem.

Pope John Paul II has a friendship with the XIV Dalai Lama . The Dalai Lama was often a guest in the Vatican and is considered a personal friend of the Pope.


Ecumenism was a particular concern of the Pope . During his first visit to Germany in 1980, a Catholic- Lutheran commission was set up, the work of which led to the joint declaration on the doctrine of justification signed in 1999 by the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in Augsburg . John Paul II was the first Pope to attend a Lutheran church. On December 11, 1983, at the invitation of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation, he came to the Evangelical Christ Church in Rome and thanked for the solidarity of all Christians during Advent . He affirmed that because of the different views on the nature of the Eucharist and the Lord's Supper, intercommunion is currently not possible. In the Ecclesia de Eucharistia document published on April 17, 2003, he therefore banned the participation of Catholic priests in Protestant communion celebrations and the invitation of Protestant Christians to Holy Communion . This led to severe criticism from Catholic groups. Representatives of other denominations also regretted the statements made in the letter.

The declaration Dominus Iesus , drawn up by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and confirmed by John Paul II in August 2000, was criticized in Germany with mixed denominations. In Dominus Iesus , some denominations were referred to as "ecclesiastical communities" which were "in a certain, if not perfect, communion with the church". The Protestant Churches admitted, however, that the declaration Dominus Iesus did not represent a new position in terms of content.

There were rapprochements with the Orthodox churches in the pontificate of John Paul II: the Pope's efforts to travel to Moscow to meet the most important representative of Orthodoxy - the Russian Patriarch Alexei II  - failed because of his rejection. Patriarch Alexej accused the Catholic Church of proselytizing in Orthodox faith regions.

The still under Paul VI. Discussions that had begun about mutual admission of Catholics and Old Catholics to the Eucharist , penance and anointing of the sick , comparable to the regulations of the Eastern Church decree, Orientalium Ecclesiarum No. 27 and 28, were no longer continued after John Paul II took office. In 2000, after a meeting in Rome, preparations began for a bilateral commission. The International Roman Catholic - Old Catholic Dialogue Commission (IRAD) was then constituted in 2004.

Church affairs

John Paul II was considered conservative in matters within the church. Critics accused him of having unpopular theologians, priests, religious and bishops " inquisitorially persecuted", for example Tissa Balasuriya (Sri Lanka), Leonardo Boff (Brazil), György Bulányi (Hungary), Edward Schillebeeckx (Belgium), Bishop Jacques Gaillot (Deposed as Bishop of Évreux in 1995 and appointed Titular Bishop of Partenia ) and Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen (United States; retired in 1991). On the other hand, he was open to the attempts by the Congolese bishops to inculturate indigenous elements in the liturgy , and in 1988 he promulgated the Zairian mass rite .

On the occasion of the UN Year of Youth, John Paul II announced the establishment of World Youth Day in 1985, which took place for the first time in the following year and then became a regularly recurring event. On May 17, 1993, John Paul II published the first world catechism since 1566, in which doctrine and morality are dealt with.

As a milestone in the relationship between the Catholic Church to modern science, the public applies rehabilitation of Galileo Galilei on November 2, 1992. She was of the report of the Science Pontifical Academy prepared, - appointed by John Paul II in 1979 -. Their findings on 31. October 1992 handed over to the Pope.

Canonizations and beatifications

John Paul II performed 1338 beatifications and 482 canonizations during his tenure . The total number of all persons canonized by his predecessors in the last 400 years is only about half that high. At the canonization of the Polish nun Maria Faustyna Kowalska - she is considered the "Apostle of God's Mercy" - on White Sunday of the Holy Year 2000 , John Paul II declared White Sunday to be the "Sunday of Divine Mercy". The Italian pediatrician Gianna Beretta Molla , who was canonized by him, is regarded as a role model for those who oppose abortion. The beatification and canonization of Opus Dei founder Josemaría Escrivá met with criticism, also within the church . As since Paul VI. Usually, John Paul II also presided over the beatification celebrations personally. His successor Benedict XVI. left this task back to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints .

Appointments of bishops

On the occasion of the appointment of bishops , there were repeated conflicts between some of the faithful and the Church. Examples include the appointment of Wolfgang Haas in Chur and later in Liechtenstein , Kurt Krenn in St. Pölten and Hans Hermann Groër in Vienna . When John Paul II appointed Joachim Meisner Archbishop of Cologne in 1988 against the resistance of the cathedral chapter , more than 220 German-speaking Catholic university lecturers (700 worldwide) protested publicly with the Cologne Declaration against "Roman centralism" with regard to the appointment of bishops, the issuing of declarations of harmlessness (“Nihil obstat”) in the appointment of theology professors and the exercise of the papal teaching office.

Admission of women to the Sacrament of Orders

According to the doctrine of the sacraments of the Catholic Church, the sacrament of consecration can only be validly received by a baptized man. John Paul II underlined this on a visit to the United States in 1983 when he explained what he expected to the American bishops, who were writing a pastoral letter on the subject. People or groups who demanded the admission of women to the priesthood were actually damaging the dignity of women by their actions.

Critics, on the other hand, demand equal access for women to the ordination office. John Paul II reaffirmed the teaching of the Church in his letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis , in which he declared that the Catholic Church has no authority to ordain women to priests and that all believers must finally abide by this decision. For Catholic theologians, this definitive stance includes a prohibition on continuing the discussion.

The discussion about the admission of women to the diaconate is not nominally affected by this prohibition . Therefore, the question of whether the ordinatio sacerdotalis can automatically be deduced that the church is also unable to admit women to the diaconate is further discussed.

World politics

Turn in Poland

A great influence on the democratization of his native Poland is ascribed to John Paul II . With his philosophical works, and especially in “Person und Tat” (1969), he provided important impulses for the consolidation of the Polish dissident movement. In Poland, which is heavily influenced by Catholicism (95% of Poles are Roman Catholics, around 70% of whom are practicing), his opinion had very high moral weight. Accordingly, he strengthened the opposition with his open partisanship for the anti-communist union Solidarność . Their former leader Lech Wałęsa said at the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the organization that John Paul II had woken up the country at the time by calling on the Poles to forget all fear.

Even the election as Pope caused waves of encouragement in Poland and alarm at the Kremlin.

The Pope's visits to Poland were particularly important. The first trip in 1979, during which around a quarter of the Polish population saw the Pope, was in fact a political rally. On January 15, 1981, John Paul II received a Solidarność delegation led by Lech Wałęsa for an audience in the Vatican. On the second trip to Poland in 1983, which took place during martial law , John Paul II demanded the rapid implementation of the social reforms and met Lech Wałęsa again, although he was actually under house arrest and Solidarność was now forbidden. On his third trip to Poland in 1987, Pope Lech Wałęsa and his family gave communion . During this visit, he demanded that the head of state and party leader Wojciech Jaruzelski respect human rights and, in a speech, criticized the ban on Solidarność. Through the relations of John Paul II, support funds from the CIA are said to have flowed through the Vatican to Solidarność.

The City of Berlin gave John Paul II a piece of the Berlin Wall as a thank you for his contribution to the fall of the Iron Curtain , which is now on display in the Vatican Gardens. Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in his memoir that the events in Eastern Europe would not have been possible without John Paul II.

After the fall of the Wall, John Paul II supported the accession of his home country to the EU and saw in it the hope of a “new evangelization of Europe” from Poland.

Middle and South America

The Pope's visit to Chile in 1987 , during which John Paul II met General Augusto Pinochet , who was responsible for numerous human rights violations in his country, including numerous cases of aggravated torture and enforced disappearances , caused criticism .

John Paul II showed little understanding for the concerns of the liberation theology, which is particularly at home in Central and South America . One of their representatives, Óscar Romero , returned disappointed from a papal audience and commented on his encounter with the words: “The Pope does not understand me!” The Pope had rejected liberation theology not only because of his experiences in communist Poland because of its alliance with Marxist currents. He justified his rejection with serious theological reservations against an understanding of liberation reduced to this world and against its violent implementation in the sense of class struggle .

In 1978, John Paul II successfully mediated the border conflict between Chile and Argentina on the Beagle Channel . More on this: Beagle Conflict and Papal Mediation in the Beagle Conflict .

Pope John Paul II was very committed to the Church in Latin America. Luigi Accattoli says in his biography: "John Paul shifted the focus of the Church [...] to the south of the world."

Engagement against war

John Paul II took a public stand against war with great commitment. In 1999 he spoke out against the war in Kosovo . He repeatedly expressed his rejection of the Third Gulf War ; for example, he criticized the Iraq policy of the United States at the audience of George W. Bush in June 2004. As early as December 2002, John Paul II refused Bush a blessing for a campaign in Iraq, after shortly before an "almost endless Chain of acts of violence and revenge ”in the Middle East.

honors and awards

The US magazine Time named John Paul II Man of the Year in 1994 . In 2003 John Paul II was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. On March 24, 2004, he was awarded the extraordinary Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen in Rome for his commitment to peace, freedom and democracy in Europe. In 2004 he received the European Peace Prize from the Foundation for Ecology and Democracy in recognition of his commitment to world peace and his contribution to the collapse of communism and the fall of the German-German wall. In June 2004, George W. Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom , the highest civilian honor in the United States . He was an honorary citizen of Szczecin, Warsaw and Elbląg (1999).

Numerous streets and squares in his native Poland, but also outside of it, are named after John Paul II; of John Paul II Hill in Krakow was heaped in his honor. In the Antarctic , Mons Ioannis Pauli II is named after him.

Posthumous appreciation


Requiem on April 8, 2005

After the Pope's death, accompanied by extensive media coverage, there were meetings in many larger metropolises and finally a huge pilgrimage to Rome, where the body was laid out on the evening of April 4, 2005. During the first day, half a million people paid their last respects to the late Pope.

For the exequies on April 8, 2005 in St. Peter's Square, 3.5 million pilgrims came to Rome, many of them from Poland. 200 heads of state and government and high spiritual representatives of different religions attended the celebration. The guests included the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I , the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad as a representative of the Foreign Office of the Russian Orthodox Church , the founder and prior of the Taizé Community, Brother Roger Schutz and the then Pope of the Coptic Church , Schenuda III.

First grave of John Paul II in the papal crypt of St. Peter's Basilica (2005 to 2011)

The exequies on St. Peter's Square were celebrated by the Dean of the College of Cardinals , the German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who a few days later was elected successor to John Paul II ( Benedict XVI ). In his sermon he paid tribute to the life and pontificate of Karol Wojtyłas. The exequies and the carrying out of the coffin were accompanied by acclamations from the pilgrims. Chants and banners from numerous pilgrims demanded the immediate canonization of John Paul II. It was one of the largest church funerals in the history of Christianity.

John Paul II. Was buried in secret in the Pope crypt of St. Peter's at the point that until its 2001 reburial tomb of John XXIII. had been. Before and after the death of John Paul II there had been rumors that the Pope wanted to be buried in his Polish homeland. There was also speculation about the transfer of his heart to Poland. In his will, however, he left the decision on the circumstances of the burial to the College of Cardinals, which decided on the burial in Rome.

Beatification process

Memorial cross on the banks of the Drawa , on which Karol Józef Wojtyła paddled several times between 1955 and 1967

A few weeks after the Pope's death, on May 13, 2005, the anniversary of the 1981 assassination attempt, Pope Benedict XVI. announced the intention to initiate the beatification process as soon as possible. For this decision, he suspended the canon law provisions, according to which this process should be opened at the earliest five years after the death of the person concerned. So it was possible to open the process on June 28, 2005 in Vespers for the Solemnity of Peter and Paul in the Lateran Basilica . The Diocese of Rome was responsible for carrying out the beatification process .

Shortly before the first anniversary of his death, the Krakow tribunal ended its inquiries into the life of the Pope until his election. A tribunal in Rome then began to process his pontificate. As the miracle required for beatification, the spontaneous healing of the French religious sister Marie Simon-Pierre from Parkinson's disease came into question.

The part of the beatification process running at the diocesan level was completed on April 2, 2007 in the Lateran Basilica. The documents collected were evaluated by the Vatican Commission, in particular the alleged miracle was checked for its credibility. On December 19, 2009 he was awarded the honorary title “ Venerable Servant of God(Venerabilis Dei servus) , which is considered to be the preliminary stage to beatification. This established his heroic virtue .

The beatification process stalled in 2010. The close and friendly relationship between the Pope and Marcial Maciel , who can be proven to be a pedo- criminal , and the founder of the order of the Legionaries of Christ , became an obstacle to the proceedings, as reports in the international press pointed out. Accordingly, Pope John Paul II had praised and promoted the religious, as his sexual assault on children should have already been known.

Beatification and Canonization

Beatification of Pope John Paul II
Last resting place of the saint in the Chapel of St. Sebastian in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome (2011)

On May 1, 2011, his successor Pope Benedict XVI spoke. Blessed Pope John Paul II at a pontifical ministry in St. Peter's Square and added him to the list of saints and blessed . After the beatification rite, two nuns , one of them Marie Simon-Pierre , whose cure from Parkinson's disease had been recognized as a miracle at the intercession of the beatified in the beatification process, brought a reliquary with an ampoule containing some of the blood of John Paul II. to the altar. Among the hundreds of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square were around 90 high-ranking delegations from all over the world, including numerous presidents and representatives of royalty. Pilgrims who could no longer find a place in St. Peter's Square watched the beatification on large screens in the Italian capital. A total of about 1.5 million pilgrims came to Rome. The coffin of John Paul II was laid out in front of the Confessio in St. Peter's Basilica even before Mass . Pope Benedict XVI prayed there for a short time after the service, after which the believers had the opportunity to file past the coffin. By the evening of May 2, 2011, 350,000 people were counted who had visited the coffin. The simple wooden coffin with the mortal remains of Pope John Paul II was then buried in a brief ceremony in the St. Sebastianus Chapel in the right aisle of St. Peter's Basilica. October 22, the day of his enthronement in 1978, was set as a non-mandatory day of remembrance in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church (initially in the regional calendars for Poland and the city of Rome) .

On July 5, 2013, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had recognized by decree the second miracle required for canonization . It is about the recovery of Floribeth Mora Díaz from Costa Rica, who was healed of an aneurysm in the brain on the day of the beatification of Pope John Paul II . On April 27, 2014, Mercy Sunday , John Paul II was born together with one of his predecessors in the papal office, John XXIII. , canonized by Pope Francis. In addition to many cardinals, bishops and priests, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI also attended the ceremony on St. part.

The brevity and success of the trials also benefited from the abolition of the Advocatus Diaboli in 1983 and the extensive secrecy of the Pope's relationship with Anna-Therese Tymieniecka .

Criticism of the beatification

Monument to John Paul II in Tasitolu , East Timor

The beatification is criticized by representatives of victims of church sexual abuse such as SNAP and netzwerkB . Norbert Denef commented on the beatification: “Not only for me personally, but worldwide for many victims who were abused as girls and boys during the term of office of Pope John Paul II, this beatification is salt in their deep, still fresh wounds. During his pontificate too, crimes were covered up and concealed not only in Germany but in many other countries, including the United States and Mexico. Instead of beatifying a dead Pope, the Church should help the victims. "

In November 2020, a report in the New York Times renewed the allegations in this connection, with specific reference to the behavior of John Paul II in the case of Theodore Edgar McCarrick . So he made it possible for him to become a cardinal, although he was warned against it by high church officials in his environment because McCarrick's allegations of sexual abuse did not fall silent. In June 2018, he was finally suspended from the priesthood by Pope Francis . Pope's defenders say John Paul II acted in good faith and, like many others, was deceived by McCarrick. In addition, saints are not free from errors in their judgment.

Hans Küng accused him of having "suppressed the human rights of women and theologians" in internal church matters; "The most ambivalent pope of the 20th century" is not a good model.

Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X. and other conservatives criticized especially the "ärgerniserregendsten" ventures of John Paul II. As "kissing the Koran " on May 14, 1999, his "numerous ceremonies of forgiveness Please" like Mea culpa from 12 March 2000.

Robert Leicht criticizes the suspension of the usual five-year period and expresses criticism of the miracle used to justify it.

Remembrance and veneration

Relics of the saint can be found all over the world. In his native Poland, John Paul II is particularly venerated. In addition to church patronage, such as in the Polish Koschmiede , numerous streets and squares were named after him, including Aleja Jana Pawła II (Johannes-Paul-II.-Allee) in Warsaw. Bełchatów (Belchatow) declared him the patron saint of the city on October 21, 2012 . By 2018, around 700 statues in memory of John Paul II had been erected in Poland, including a 14-meter-high fiberglass statue in Częstochowa , which was blessed on April 13, 2013. In 2019, the John Paul II and Primate Wyszynski Museum opened in Warsaw.

Outside of Poland, Bari Airport , among others, was named after him. In addition, the John Paul II Peninsula on the Antarctic Livingston Island bears his name.

Graffiti in Rijeka ( Croatia ) with the portrait of John Paul II and his film title: “Don't be afraid !”, Which he called out to the people behind the
Iron Curtain on his inauguration from St. Peter's Square .

At the end of October 2019, the Polish Bishops' Conference submitted to Pope Francis the wish to elevate the saint to Doctor of the Church and co-patron of Europe . This should be done on the occasion of his centenary and the 15th anniversary of his death in 2020.

Film adaptations

The life of John Paul II has been filmed several times:



  • Jeremiasz , Drama, 1940; German edition: Jeremia - a national drama in three parts . Bonifatius, Paderborn 1991, ISBN 3-87088-922-5 .
  • Doctrina de fide apud S. Joannem a Cruce , Rome 1948 (dissertation from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas , Angelicum, Rome 1948, 223 pages); German edition: Faith in Johannes von Kreuz , prepared and translated by Erika Innertsberger. Verlag Christliche Innerlichkeit , Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-901797-05-X .
  • Miłość i odpowiedzialność , 1960; German new edition: Love and Responsibility. An ethical study , translated by Josef Spindelböck. Second edition, Verlag St. Josef, Kleinhain 2010, ISBN 978-3-901853-14-2 (on marriage, family and sexuality).
  • under the pseudonym Andrzej Jawień: Przed sklepem jubilera , 1960; German: The goldsmith's shop. Staged meditations on the sacrament of marriage that temporarily turn into drama , translated by Theo Mechtenberg. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1983, ISBN 978-3-451-18875-6 .
  • Person and deed . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1981, ISBN 3-451-18709-4 (Polish original edition 1969).
  • The brother of our God - Radiation of the Father , two dramas. Translation into German by Theo Mechtenberg, Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1981, ISBN 978-3-451-19417-7 (see the film adaptation by Krzysztof Zanussi : Our God's Brother , 1997).
  • Roman triptych. Meditations . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003, ISBN 978-3-451-28244-7 .
  • Longing for happiness . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2003.
  • Let's go 2004, ISBN 3-89897-045-0 .
  • Reconciliation between the worlds. In conversation with the religions. 2004, ISBN 978-3-87996-590-8 .
  • Memory and Identity - Conversations on the Threshold between the Millennia. 2005, ISBN 3-89897-170-8 .
  • Who is man Sketches on anthropology , introduced and translated by Hanns-Gregor Nissing. Pneuma Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-942013-06-2 .
  • I am entirely in God's hands - personal notes 1962–2003 , translated by Anna and Stefan Meetschen. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2014, ISBN 978-3-451-31333-2 ( online resource ).
    • Polish original edition: “Jestem bardzo w rękach Bożych”. Notatki osobiste 1962-2003 . Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak, Kraków 2014, ISBN 978-83-240-2990-7 .


Other works

Chart placements
Explanation of the data
The Pilgrim Pope
  UK 71 07/03/1982 (4 weeks)
The Rosary
  UK 50 12/10/1994 (4 weeks)
Abba Father
  DE 61 04/05/1999 (3 weeks)
  AT 44 04/18/1999 (1 week)
  CH 19th 04/11/1999 (4 weeks)
  UK 87 04/10/1999 (1 week)
  • 1982: The Pilgrim Pope
  • 1994: The Rosary
  • 1999: Abbà Pater


Web links

Commons : John Paul II  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Beatification in record time ,
  2. John XXIII. and John Paul II on the way to canonization . Vatican Radio online, July 5, 2013; Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  3. Pope John Paul II is canonized . Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung online, July 5, 2013; Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  4. Liturgical Holidays for Two Popes Holy . Vatican Radio. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  5. ^ Matthias Drobinski, Thomas Urban: Johannes Paul II. Biography. Munich 2020, pp. 19–23
  6. Gerhard Knauck: It is difficult to find a second such person . In: Die Welt , April 4, 2005.
  7. ^ German translation in: Karol Wojtyła / Johannes Paul II .: Primat des Geistes. Philosophical writings. H. Seewald, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-512-00573-X , pp. 37-197.
  8. a b Bernice & Konstantin Kaminskij: Participation and Solidarity. The playwright Karol Wojtyła and the dramatic origins of the East Central European dissident movement. In: Forum for Eastern European History of Ideas and Contemporary History 19/1 (2015), 87–117. [1]
  9. ^ Quotations from Matthias Drobinski , Thomas Urban : Johannes Paul II. The Pope, who came from the East . CH Beck, Munich 2020, ISBN 978-3-406-74936-0 , in the chapter “Charisma and spontaneous encounters”, pp. 143–149.
  11. Marta Kijowska in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of February 22, 2020, p. 10, "He had Marx in the repertoire"
  12. Pope cut off from the Vatican over 100 times. , 20 minutes , January 27, 2007.
  13. May 13, 2006.
  16. The Merciful and Political Pope
  17. Pope's gift higher than St. Peter's Basilica
  18. ^ Stations in the life of Pope John Paul II.
  19. a b Viktoria Bolmer: The Pope's girlfriend. Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 15, 2016, accessed on February 17, 2016 .
  20. Annette Langer : John Paul II and the philosopher: "More than friends, less than lovers". Spiegel Online, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  21. BBC documentary on arte-TV
  22. ^ Mercedes Gordon: Juan Pablo II inaugura el Año Santo de la Redención . In: Ya , March 26, 1983, p. 33.
  23. Andreas Dorschel : It is a pleasure to confess In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , August 20, 2004, p. 14.
  25. Österreichischer Rundfunk 2016: Pope John Paul II had already asked for forgiveness for the Inquisition and other offenses of the Church such as the crusades and the persecution of the Jews in his great “Mea culpa” (confession of guilt) in the anniversary year 2000.
  26. Extrema aegrotatio, obitus, funebria (PDF; 5.5 MB) in Italian, p. 458 ff .; German "Last Illness, Death, Funeral Celebrations", German-language reproduction . The will of John Paul is printed in Polish on p. 475 ff.
  29. CHURCH: “Legalization of Evil”. Der Spiegel 32/2003, August 4, 2003, accessed on January 6, 2021 .
  30. ^ Declaration of war from Rome. Der Spiegel 5/1998, January 26, 1998, accessed April 5, 2019 .
  31. Pope meets relatives of Mafia victims for word service kipa, last section in the communication of March 21, 2014.
  32. John Paul II: Message for the Celebration of World Day of Peace 1990 , December 8, 1989.
  33. ^ John Paul II: Signing the "Declaration of Venice" . June 10, 2002.
  34. ( Memento from October 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  36. John Paul II. Tabular curriculum vitae in the LeMO ( DHM and HdG )
  37. Address during the ecumenical meeting
  38. Peter Neuner: New Aspects to the Communion of the Lord's Supper. The theological significance of the limited fellowship with the Old Catholics . In: Wolfgang Seibel SJ (Ed.): Voices of the Time , Issue 3, March 1974 Herder. Freiburg in Breisgau. Pp. 172-173.
  39. ^ Resolutions of the Würzburg Synod. (PDF) German Catholic Bishops' Conference, 5.4.1. Eastern and Old Catholic Churches, p. 214; Retrieved May 3, 2014.
  40. Old Catholics and the Vatican took part in dialogue on ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk, accessed on July 29, 2014.
  41. Church and Church Fellowship. Report of the International Roman Catholic - Old Catholic Dialogue Commission . Bonifatius Lembeck, Paderborn / Frankfurt / Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-89710-456-3 , p. 7 .
  42. ^ International Roman Catholic Old Catholic Dialogue Commission IRAD met in Paderborn . ( Memento from July 29, 2014 in the web archive ) Archdiocese of Paderborn; Retrieved July 27, 2014.
  43. ^ Chronicle of World Youth Days . Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  44. "Popess with the Right to Marriage". Der Spiegel 52/1992, December 21, 1992, accessed on January 13, 2017 .
  45. ^ Parade of the well-wishers in Poland . NZZ Online. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  46. Luigi Accattoli: . John Paul II biography. Cologne 1998, p. 79.
  47. Alla Delegazione del sindacato indipendente ed autonomo polacco Solidarnosc, 15 gennaio 1981, Giovanni Paolo II . Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  48. ^ The Pope's travels to Poland . Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  49. a b c Alexander Schwabe: Revolutionary outward, traditionalist inward . Obituary on
  50. Poland: Where the Pope is forever young. Spiegel Online , December 16, 2004, accessed March 30, 2017 .
  51. “The Pope does not understand me!” We are the Church. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  52. Luigi Accattoli, Johannes Paul II. Biography, Cologne 1998.
  53. ( Memento from March 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  54. Invasion Plans : Pope Denies Bush Blessing for Iraq War. Spiegel Online, December 23, 2002, accessed March 29, 2017 .
  55. 09.10.2003 Nobel Peace Prize: John Paul II or Vaclav Havel? . Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  56. ^ The honorary citizens of Stettin / Szczecin. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on March 12, 2013 ; Retrieved April 28, 2011 .
  57. [2] ( archive)
  58. ^ Heroic degree of virtue of John Paul II and Pius XII. accepted! .
  59. Vatican: No “abbreviation” for John Paul II. Vatican Radio .
  60. An unfortunate connection . ( Memento from December 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Frankfurter Rundschau online, October 16, 2010.
  61. A corrupt founder of the order. M. Maciel and the Legionaries of Christ. Retrieved December 15, 2010 . NDR radio broadcast from August 1, 2010.
  62. Press Office of the Vatican.
  63. John XXIII. and John Paul II on the way to canonization. (No longer available online.) In: Radio Vatican. July 5, 2013, archived from the original on July 8, 2013 ; Retrieved July 5, 2013 .
  64. Two brave men ., accessed April 27, 2014.
  65. Annette Langer: John Paul II and the philosopher: "More than friends, less than lovers". Spiegel Online, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  66. Affected people at the beatification of John Paul II. NetzwerkB, SNAP; Press release April 28, 2011.
  67. Norbert Denef : Pray instead of helping. How Pope John Paul wrote me a devastating letter. In: Die Zeit , April 28, 2011, (PDF; 1.1 MB).
  68. Vatican: Victims of abuse criticize the beatification of John Paul II at Spiegel Online , April 28, 2011.
  69. Jason Horowitz: Sainted Too Soon? Vatican Report Cast John Paul II in Harsh New Light. New York Times, November 15, 2020.
  70. Interview with Hans Küng "He certainly deserves praise ..." in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung , April 28, 2011 (accessed on July 1, 2021).
  71. ^ Letter to Friends and Benefactors No. 78 , published on FSSPX.NEWS, April 20, 2011; A Statement of Reservations Concerning the Impending Beatification of Pope John Paul II on The Remnant Online , March 21, 2011 (both accessed May 29, 2017).
  72. Robert Leicht : Why a Pope? In: Die Zeit , No. 18/2011, p. 64.
  73. ^ Święty Jan Paweł II Patron Miasta Bełchatowa ( memento of January 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) at , July 9, 2013 (accessed on May 29, 2017).
  74. The great Poland Pope: 40 years ago Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope , MDR, October 17, 2018, accessed on October 17, 2019.
  75. World's largest statue of John Paul II unveiled on , April 13, 2013 (accessed on May 29, 2017).
  76. Warsaw opens the country's largest papal museum , RBB Kultur, October 17, 2019.
  77. Werden
  78. -europe /
  79. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK
  80. Marx was in his repertoire. Looking back at a charismatic man in the Apostolic See . Review by Marta Kijowska . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of February 22nd, 2020, accessed from on January 26th, 2021.
predecessor government office successor
Eugeniusz Baziak Archbishop of Krakow
Cardinal Franciszek Macharski
John Paul I. John paul 2 coa.svg Pope
Benedict XVI