interesting facts about: history
John Paul II (born as Karol Józef Wojtyła) was Pope from 16 October 1978 to his decease in 2005. The fact: he was the second longest-serving pope in history and the first non-Italian Pope since Adrian VI, who died by then 455 years ago.
John Paul II is named by many historians one of the most considerable leaders of the past XXth century. So he is recognized as helping to end Communist power in his parent Poland and ultimately all of Europe. He supported the Church's teachings against canonization of women and artificial contraception. Nevertheless, he upheld the Church's Second Vatican Council and its progressive reforms. He is also known for his accomplishment of several papal documents referred to the role of the Church in the modern world.
During his pontificate this Pope visited more than 130 countries, one rock-concert and some soccer games. He announced the beatification of 1,340 people and canonized 483 persons acknowledged as holy or virtuous. By the time of his death, he had called majority of the College of Cardinals, consecrated a large number of the world's bishops, and gave ordains for thousands of priests. A main aim of his papacy was to change the image of Catholic Church. His will was "to place Catholic Church at the core of a new religious league that would bring together Muslims, Jews, and all Christians in a great armada of religious people".
John Paul II also had a dream to visit once Russia. His wish has been never accomplished. In the times of USSR existence it was unreal. After the fall of the Iron Curtain to visit Russia became politically possible, but against this visit was Russian Orthodox Church and it bishop Alexy II. In 1992 Moscow Patriarchate has accused the Roman Catholic Church in the expansion in the homeland of the Orthodox Church. Patriarch of Moscow and of the All Russia Alexy II said that „untill Catholics renounce proselytism (attempts to convers the Orthodox people into Catholicism), visit of the head of the Catholic church in Russia is impossible”. Francis – the next Pope, also never have been visited Russia, and also because of religious pretensions of Orthodox Church.