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[[Image:John_Paul_II.jpg|thumb|Pope John Paul II]]
'''John Paul II''' (Latin: ''Ioannes Paulus PP. II'', Italian: ''Giovanni Paolo II'', Polish: ''Jan Paweł II'') born '''Karol Józef Wojtyła''' ([[May 18]], 1920, Wadowice,
[[Poland ]] – [[April 2]], 2005, [[w:Vatican City|Vatican City]]) reigned as [[Pope]] of the [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholic Church]] and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from [[October 16]], 1978, until his death more than 26 years later, making his the second-longest pontificate in modern times after Pius IX's 31-year reign. He is the only Polish pope, and was the first non-Italian pope since the (Low) German Adrian VI in the 1520s.
The official title of John Paul II, as recognized by the Roman Catholic Church was: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of [[Jesus Christ]], Successor of Saint Peter, Head of the College of Bishops, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West (this title was recently removed from the papal list of titles by the reigning pope, [[Benedict XVI]]), Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the City State of the Vatican, Servant of the Servants of God Pope John Paul II.
His early reign was marked by his opposition to
[[communism ]], and he is often credited as one of the forces which contributed to its collapse in Eastern Europe.<ref>"[http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/02/world.reax/index.html World mourns Pope John Paul II]," ''CNN'', (accessed [[April 13]] 2006).</ref> In the later part of his pontificate, he was notable for speaking against [[war ]], [[fascism ]], [[dictatorship ]], [[materialism ]], [[abortion]], [[birth control|contraception]], [[relativism ]], unrestrained [[capitalism ]], and what he deemed the " [[culture of death ]]".
John Paul II was Pope during a period in which [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholicism]]'s influence declined in developed countries but expanded in the Third World. During his reign, the pope traveled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors. He remains one of the most-traveled world leaders in history. He was fluent in numerous languages: his native Polish and also Italian, French, German, English, Spanish, Croatian, Portuguese, Russian and Latin.<ref>http://www.robinsonlibrary.com/philosophy/denominations/catholic/history/johnpaul2.htm Pope John Paul II, ''The Robinson Library'']</ref> As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he [[canonization|canonized]] a great number of people.
===Relations with Romania===
In May 1999, John Paul II visited Romania on the invitation of his Beatitude [[Teoctist (Arapasu) of Romania|Teoctist]], the [[Patriarch]] of the [[Church of Romania|Romanian Orthodox Church]]. This was the first time a Pope had visited a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the [[Great Schism]]. On his arrival, the Pope was greeted by Patriarch Teoctist and Romanian President Emil Constantinescu. The Patriarch stated, "The second millennium of Christian history began with a painful wounding of the unity of the Church; the end of this millennium has seen a real commitment to restoring Christian unity."
On [[May 9]], the Pope and the Patriarch each attended a worship service conducted by the other (an Orthodox [[Divine Liturgy|Liturgy]] and a Catholic [[Mass]], respectively). A crowd of hundreds of thousands of people turned up to attend the worship services, which were held in the open air. The Pope told the crowd, "I am here among you pushed only by the desire of authentic unity. Not long ago it was unthinkable that the bishop of Rome could visit his brothers and sisters in the faith who live in Romania. Today, after a long winter of suffering and persecution, we can finally exchange the kiss of peace and together praise the Lord." A large part of Romania's Orthodox population has shown itself warm to the idea of Christian reunification.
===Relations with Greece===