100 Facts About Paul VI


Pope Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978.

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Paul VI fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.

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Paul VI re-convened the Second Vatican Council, which had automatically closed with the death of John XXIII.

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Paul VI spoke repeatedly to Marian conventions and Mariological meetings, visited Marian shrines and issued three Marian encyclicals.

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Paul VI described himself as a humble servant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes from the rich in North America and Europe in favour of the poor in the Third World.

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Paul VI's father, Giorgio Montini, was a lawyer, journalist, director of the Catholic Action, and member of the Italian Parliament.

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Paul VI had two brothers, Francesco Montini, who became a physician, and Lodovico Montini, who became a lawyer and politician.

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Paul VI attended the Cesare Arici school, run by the Jesuits, and in 1916 received a diploma from the Arnaldo da Brescia public school in Brescia.

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Paul VI's education was often interrupted by bouts of illness.

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Paul VI was ordained on 29 May 1920 in Brescia and celebrated his first Mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Brescia.

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Paul VI later studied at the Gregorian University, the University of Rome La Sapienza and, at the request of Giuseppe Pizzardo, the Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici.

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Paul VI was further appointed Consultor of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office and of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation on 24 December, and was promoted to Protonotary Apostolic, the most senior class of papal prelate, on 10 May 1938.

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Paul VI's richly cultivated mind, his unusual capacity for thought and study led him to avoid all distractions and every unnecessary relaxation.

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Paul VI wished to enter fully into the history of his own afflicted time: with a deep understanding, that he was himself a part of that history.

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Paul VI wished to participate fully in it, to share his sufferings in his own heart and soul.

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Paul VI was consecrated bishop in Saint Peter's Basilica by Cardinal Eugene Tisserant, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, since Pius XII was forced to stay in bed due to his severe illness.

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Paul VI gave a friendly welcome to a group of Anglican clergy visiting Milan in 1957 and subsequently exchanged letters with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher.

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Paul VI was a member of the Commission for Extraordinary Affairs but did not engage himself much in the floor debates on various issues.

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Paul VI used his authority to ensure that the liturgical reforms of Pius XII were carried out at the local level and employed innovative methods to reach the people of Milan.

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Paul VI's goal was the re-introduction of faith to a city without much religion.

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Paul VI was viewed as most likely to continue the Second Vatican Council, which already, without any tangible results, had lasted longer than John XXIII expected.

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Paul VI's rhetoric seems to have had a note of over-optimism, a confidence in progress, which was characteristic of the 1960s.

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Less than two years later, on 2 May 1965, Paul VI addressed a letter to the dean of the College of Cardinals anticipating that his health might make it impossible to function as pope.

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Paul VI wrote that "In case of infirmity, which is believed to be incurable or is of long duration and which impedes us from sufficiently exercising the functions of our apostolic ministry; or in the case of another serious and prolonged impediment", he would renounce his office "both as bishop of Rome as well as head of the same holy Catholic Church".

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Paul VI did away with much of the regal splendor of the papacy.

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Paul VI was the last pope to date to be crowned on 30 June 1963; his successor Pope John Paul I substituted an inauguration for the papal coronation .

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At his coronation Paul VI wore a tiara that was a gift from the Archdiocese of Milan.

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Paul VI abolished the Palatine Guard and the Noble Guard, leaving the Pontifical Swiss Guard as the sole military order of the Vatican.

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Paul VI decided to continue Vatican II, and brought it to completion in 1965.

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Paul VI told them that in Milan he started a dialogue with the modern world and asked them to seek contact with all people from all walks of life.

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Paul VI reminded the council fathers that only a few years earlier Pope Pius XII had issued the encyclical Mystici corporis about the mystical body of Christ.

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Paul VI asked them not to repeat or create new dogmatic definitions but to explain in simple words how the church sees itself.

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Paul VI thanked the representatives of other Christian communities for their attendance and asked for their forgiveness if the Catholic Church is guilty for the separation.

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Paul VI reminded the Council Fathers that many bishops from the east could not attend because the governments in the East did not permit their journeys.

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Paul VI opened the third period on 14 September 1964, telling the Council Fathers that he viewed the text about the church as the most important document to come out from the council.

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Paul VI opened the final session of the council, concelebrating with bishops from countries where the church was persecuted.

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Pope Paul VI knew the Roman Curia well, having worked there for a generation from 1922 to 1954.

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On 6 August 1966, Paul VI asked all bishops to submit their resignations to the pontiff by their 75th birthday.

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Paul VI extended this requirement to all cardinals in Ingravescentem aetatem on 21 November 1970, with the further provision that cardinals would relinquish their offices in the Roman Curia upon reaching their 80th birthday.

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In 1964, Paul VI created a Secretariat for non-Christians, later renamed the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a year later a new Secretariat for Dialogue with Non-Believers.

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In 1971, Paul VI created a papal office for economic development and catastrophic assistance.

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Paul VI travelled more widely than any of his predecessors, earning the nickname "the Pilgrim Pope".

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Paul VI visited the Holy Land in 1964 and participated in Eucharistic Congresses in Bombay, India and Bogota, Colombia.

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Paul VI undertook a pastoral visit to Uganda in 1969, the first by a reigning pope to Africa.

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Paul VI was only lightly stabbed by Benjamin Mendoza y Amor Flores, who was subdued by the pope's personal bodyguard and travel organiser, Paul Marcinkus.

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Pope Paul VI became the first reigning pontiff to visit the Western hemisphere when he addressed the United Nations in New York City in October 1965.

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Shortly after arriving at the airport in Manila, Philippines on 27 November 1970, the Pope, closely followed by President Ferdinand Marcos and personal aide Pasquale Macchi, who was private secretary to Pope Paul VI, were encountered suddenly by a crew-cut, cassock-clad man who tried to attack the Pope with a knife.

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Pope Paul VI sent one of 73 Apollo 11 Goodwill Messages to NASA for the historic first lunar landing.

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Pope Paul VI made extensive contributions to Mariology during his pontificate.

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Paul VI attempted to present the Marian teachings of the church in view of her new ecumenical orientation.

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Paul VI appealed to "all people of good will" and discussed necessary dialogues within the church and between the churches and with atheism.

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Paul VI writes that Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which people are led to Christ.

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On 3 September 1965, Paul VI issued Mysterium fidei, on the mystery of the faith.

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Paul VI opposed relativistic notions which would have given the Eucharist a symbolic character only.

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The church, according to Paul VI, has no reason to give up the deposit of faith in such a vital matter.

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Paul VI rejected notions to instigate revolution and force in changing economic conditions.

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However, during his pontificate Paul VI was permissive in allowing bishops to grant laicisation of priests who wanted to leave the sacerdotal state.

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John Paul VI II changed this policy in 1980 and the 1983 Code of Canon Law made it explicit that only the pope can in exceptional circumstances grant laicisation.

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The reason for this, according to Paul VI, is that married love takes its origin from God, who "is love".

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Paul VI was concerned but not surprised by the negative reaction in Western Europe and the United States.

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In 1967, when he reorganised the Roman curia, Pope Paul VI renamed the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith as the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

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Pope Paul VI was the first pope in history to make apostolic journeys to other continents and visited six continents.

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Ecumenical dialogue, in the view of Paul VI, requires from a Catholic the whole person: one's entire reason, will, and heart.

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Paul VI visited the Orthodox Patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople in 1964 and 1967.

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Paul VI was the first pope since the ninth century to visit the East, labelling the Eastern Churches as sister churches.

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Paul VI was the first pope in centuries to meet the heads of various Eastern Orthodox faiths.

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Paul VI was the first pope to receive an Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, in official audience as Head of Church, after the private audience visit of Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher to Pope John XXIII on 2 December 1960.

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Paul VI praised Paul VI and his contributions in the service of unity.

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Paul VI was a good friend of the Anglican Church, which he described as "our beloved sister Church".

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In 1965, Paul VI decided on the creation of a joint working group with the World Council of Churches to map all possible avenues of dialogue and co-operation.

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Paul VI welcomed the announcement of Pope Paul VI to celebrate the 1900th anniversary of the death of the Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul, and promised the participation and co-operation in the festivities.

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Paul VI supported the new-found harmony and co-operation with Protestants on many levels.

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Paul VI beatified a total of 38 individuals in his pontificate and he canonised 84 saints in 21 causes.

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Paul VI named two Doctors of the Church and in so doing named the first two female Doctors of the Church.

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Paul VI named Saint Teresa of Avila on 27 September 1970 and Saint Catherine of Siena on 4 October 1970.

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Pope Paul VI held six consistories between 1965 and 1977 that raised 143 men to the cardinalate in his fifteen years as pope:.

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Paul VI named Stepan Trochta and Iuliu Hossu as cardinals "in pectore" in 1969 and only revealed Hossu's name in 1973 after Hossu died while formally naming Trochta.

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Similarly, Paul VI named both Frantisek Tomasek and Joseph-Marie Trinh Nhu Khue "in pectore" in 1976, only announcing the former in 1977 and the latter at the 1976 consistory itself, a month after having announced it and his hidden selection.

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Also in 1967, according to the memoirs of Louis Bouyer, Paul VI intended to name Bouyer to the cardinalate after the Second Vatican Council Paul VI was forced to abandon the idea after realizing that the appointment would not be warmly received by the French episcopacy since Bouyer had been very critical of many of the positions taken by the French bishops.

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In 1976 Paul VI became the first pontiff in the modern era to deny the accusation of homosexuality.

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In 1994, Franco Bellegrandi, a former Vatican honour chamberlain and correspondent for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, alleged that Paul VI had been blackmailed and had promoted other gay men to positions of power within the Vatican.

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Paul VI had been in good health prior to his pontifical election.

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Paul VI's health following his papal election took a turn when he needed to undergo a serious operation to treat an enlarged prostate.

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Paul VI continued looking for ways to pay ransom for Moro, but his efforts were fruitless.

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Pope Paul VI left the Vatican to go to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, on 14 July 1978, visiting on the way the tomb of Cardinal Giuseppe Pizzardo, who had introduced him to the Vatican half a century earlier.

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Paul VI was neither able nor permitted to do so and instead stayed in bed, his temperature rising.

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Pope Paul VI, reflecting on Hamlet, wrote the following in a private note in 1978:.

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Paul VI's confessor, the Jesuit Paolo Dezza, said that "this pope is a man of great joy", and that:.

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Diocesan process for beatification for Paul VI—titled then as a Servant of God—opened in Rome on 11 May 1993 under Pope John Paul II after the "nihil obstat" was declared the previous 18 March.

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On 6 March 2018, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, speaking at a plenary meeting of the International Catholic Migration Commission in Rome, confirmed that Paul VI would be canonised in at the close of the synod on 28 October 2018.

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Pontificate of Paul VI continued the opening and internationalisation of the church started under Pius XII.

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Paul VI implemented the reforms of John XXIII and Vatican II.

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Yet, unlike these popes, Paul VI faced criticism throughout his papacy from both traditionalists and liberals for steering a middle course during Vatican II and during the implementation of its reforms thereafter.

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Paul VI expressed a desire for peace during the Vietnam War.

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Paul VI suffered for the attacks on Pius XII for his alleged silences during the Holocaust.

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Pope Paul VI was said to have been less intellectually gifted than his predecessors: he was not credited with an encyclopaedic memory, nor a gift for languages, nor the brilliant writing style of Pius XII, nor did he have the charisma and outpouring love, sense of humor and human warmth of John XXIII.

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Paul VI took on himself the unfinished reform work of these two popes, bringing them diligently with great humility and common sense and without much fanfare to conclusion.

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Paul VI admonished but did not punish those with other views.

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Paul VI did renounce many traditional symbols of the papacy and the Catholic Church; some of his changes to the papal dress were reversed by Pope Benedict XVI in the early 21st century.

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Paul VI systematically continued and completed the efforts of his predecessors, to turn the Euro-centric church into a church of the world, by integrating the bishops from all continents in its government and in the Synods which he convened.

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