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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish political elite remember Pope John Paul II, 100 years after his birth

18.05.2020 19:57
Poland’s political leaders on Monday took part in a special Catholic Mass in the culmination of events to mark 100 years since the birth of their late countryman Pope John Paul II.
Mondays Mass in Kraków to mark 100 years since the birth of Pope John Paul II.
Monday’s Mass in Kraków to mark 100 years since the birth of Pope John Paul II. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

The mass at the Sanctuary of St John Paul II in the southern city of Kraków was attended by President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, and Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland’s ruling, conservative Law and Justice party.

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

Duda and his wife earlier on Monday visited a museum at the pope’s family home in that town.

Duda hailed the late Polish-born pontiff as a “pope of freedom and solidarity” and one of the most important figures of the 20th century.

Meanwhile, at a ceremony in Warsaw earlier in the day, Morawiecki said that John Paul II changed the history of the world.

“It is thanks to him, thanks to Solidarity, that communism collapsed and we have been able to create a free Poland over the years,” the prime minister added.

John Paul II led the Roman Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was declared a saint in 2014.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said that thanks to the late pope, a "bloodless revolution swept Poland" when the country overthrew communism in 1989, and “Central and Eastern Europe set out on its march towards freedom."

(pk)

Source: Polish Radio/IAR