Remembrance of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II was elected in 1978. When white smoke poured out of the Sistine Chapel chimney on October 16 that year, the world was stunned to learn that the newly elected pope was from communist Poland, the first non-Italian in over 450 years.
U.S. Cardinal Edmund Szoka: I could not believe it. I never expected that he would be elected pope.
Karol Wojtyla took the name Pope John Paul II. He was just 58-years-old when he addressed the crowd in Saint Peter's square, the youngest pope in the 20th century.
Karol Wojtyla was born on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice. In his youth he was a keen sportsman and enjoyed the theater.
He was at university in Krakow when World War II began. When he decided to become a priest in 1942, the Nazis had cracked down on religious teaching. No seminary was authorized and he was forced into underground training.
By 1964 he was archbishop of Krakow, three years later a cardinal. From the day of his election as pope, it was clear the Polish cleric would leave his mark on Eastern Europe.
Pope John Paul was dynamic and approachable. He traveled the world, communicating in eight different languages. He celebrated masses and proclaimed over 450 new saints.
But the pope's insistence on getting close to huge crowds almost led to his death in 1981 when a Turkish gunman shot and seriously wounded him. From his hospital bed, the pope forgave his would-be assassin.
The pope spoke out against wars in the Middle East, in the Balkans, in Africa. He appealed time and again to world leaders to use non-violent means to resolve international conflicts.
But on social issues, the pope took a staunchly conservative stand. He strongly opposed artificial contraception, abortion, the ordination of women, and the marriage of priests.
Pope: If a person's right to life is violated at the moment in which he is first conceived in his mother's womb, an indirect blow is struck also at the whole of the moral order.
But he made great efforts to mend differences with other Christians and other religions. He was the first pope ever to visit a synagogue and apologized for Catholics who failed to help Jews against Nazi persecution.
Pope: Do not be afraid. The power of the Holy Spirit is with you, is with you. Amen.
Sabina Castelfranco, VOA news, Rome.
Sistine Chapel 罗马梵蒂冈的西斯廷教堂
communist [5kCmjunist] adj. 共产主义的
cardinal [5kB:dinEl] n. 枢机主教，红衣主教
address [E5dres] vt. 向……致辞，演说
priest [pri:st] n. 牧师
seminary [5seminEri] n. 神学院
archbishop [5B:tF5biFEp] n. [宗]大教主
dynamic [dai5nAmik] adj. 活跃的，富有激情的
mass [mAs] n.（天主教的）弥撒
saint [seint] n. 圣徒
assassin [E5sAsin] n. 暗杀者，刺客
Balkan [5bC:lkEn] n. 巴尔干半岛
staunch [stC:n(t)Fli] adv. 坚定地
conservative [kEn5sE:vEtiv] adj. 保守的，守旧的