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English Section

Polish president hails John Paul II as ‘pope of freedom and solidarity’, key figure of 20th century

18.05.2020 13:00
Poland’s president has hailed the late Polish-born pontiff John Paul II as a “pope of freedom and solidarity” and one of the most important figures of the 20th century.
Polish President Andrzej Duda
Polish President Andrzej DudaPhoto: Igor Smirnow/KPRP

Monday marked exactly 100 years since Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who in 1978 became Pope John Paul II, was born in the southern Polish town of Wadowice.

In a special message to mark the anniversary, President Andrzej Duda said that John Paul II, who led the Roman Catholic Church until his death in 2005 and was declared a saint in 2014, was a “defender of fundamental moral values and the Christian identity of Europe.”

The Polish-born pope “built bridges in a world troubled by divisions and conflicts,” Duda also said.

He added that John Paul II’s “teachings and testimony still touch the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world, providing an inspiration for many religious, social, scientific and cultural initiatives.”

An open-air exhibition in the Polish Baltic port city of Gdańsk marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Pope John Paul II. An open-air exhibition in the Polish Baltic port city of Gdańsk marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of St. Pope John Paul II. Photo: PAP/Adam Warżawa

Duda also said in his message that Karol Wojtyła was a man of deep faith who “looked ahead with hope into the future of Poland, Europe and the world.”

While "shaping this future, we will always remember the greatest among us—the pope of freedom and solidarity," Duda said.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, prezydent.pl