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Jan Pawel II

Jan Pawel II

Karol Józef Wojtyła (1920–2005) became Pope in October 1978. A theologian and philosopher, from 1938 he studied Polish philology at the Jagellonian University. A former actor, during World War II he did manual work in the quarries in Kraków, whilst also (1941-1945) preparing for the priesthood. In 1946, he was ordained a priest and from 1946-1948 he studied at the Papal university of St Tomas Aquinas in Rome. From 1954, he lectured in the Theology Department at the Jagellonian University and in the Philosophy Department of KUL. From 1956, he was Deputy Professor and Substitute Director of the Ethics Chair of KUL. In 1958, he was ordained bishop, and subsequently served as a Krakowian Archbishop from 1963. He took part in church councils of the Vatican. in 1967, he was ordained cardinal and became Chairman of the Polish Epistolary Comission for Matters of Catholic study as well as Scientific Aid of Polish Epistolaries. He led classes on the basis of ethics, the essence of love for bridegrooms, and the anthropology of philosophy, in particular that underlying the dignity of human people. He undertook certain theological issues which were developed after 1978 in a series of doctrines and other papal documents. His pontificate was characterised by an open dialogue with the world, and the legibility of science and teaching and evidence of the church in the modern world. His literary works (mainly published under the pseudonym Andrzej Jawień) comprise poetry, meditative poetry about ethical-religious problems, and plays. In 1981 and 1982 there were numerous attempts on his life. On 13 May 2011, Pope Benedykt XVI agreed to start the process of beatification for the former pope.