(Karol Wojtyla) (1920-) Pope from 1978, the first non-Italian to be elected pope since 1522. He was born near Kraków, Poland. He has upheld the tradition of papal infallibility and has condemned artificial contraception, women priests, married priests, and modern dress for monks and nuns—views that have aroused criticism from liberalizing elements in the church.
In a March 1995 encyclical, the pope stated in unequivocal terms his opposition to abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, genetic manipulation, and euthanasia, and employed the church's strongest language to date against capital punishment.
In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, Wojtyla was conscripted for forced labor by the Germans, working in quarries and a chemical factory, but from 1942 studied for the priesthood illegally in Kraków. After the war he taught ethics and theology at the universities of Lublin and Kraków, becoming archbishop of Kraków 1964. In 1967 he was made a cardinal. He was shot and wounded by a Turk in an attempt on his life 1981. Although he has warned against the involvement of priests in political activity, he opposed the Gulf War 1991 and has condemned arms manufacturers as sinful.
John Paul II · Karol Wojtyla