Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

John Paul II, Pope

  • Jakob Egeris ThorsenEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_227-1


Karol Józef Wojtyła (1920–2005) became pope and chose the papal name John Paul II on October 16, 1978. His papacy lasted for 27 years until his death April 2, 2015. Wojtyla was born in Wadowice in Poland on May 18, 1920. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on November 1, 1946. He was named auxiliary bishop of Kraków on July 4, 1958. On March 8, 1964, he was installed as Archbishop of Kraków, and on June 28, 1967 he was created cardinal. During his papacy, John Paul II visited Latin America 18 times.


Karol Wojtyła was born in Wadowice in Southern Poland in 1920. His parents were army captain Karol Wojtyła (1878–1941) and Emilia Kaczorowska Wojtyła (1884–1929). In 1938, he was confirmed and graduated from high school and moved with his father to Kraków, where he began to study Polish philology at the Jagiellonian University. After the German occupation of Poland on September 1, 1939, the university was closed by the SS police, but Wojtyła would continue his...


Catholicism Second Vatican Council CELAM Puebla (CELAM meeting) Santo Domingo (CELAM meeting) Liberation theology Inculturation theology New Evangelization 
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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aarhus UniversityAarhus CDenmark