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Pope Paul VI
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Religious Figure
    (September 26, 1897-August 6, 1978)
    Birth name was Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini
    262th Pope (June 21, 1963-August 6, 1978)
    Died of a heart attack at 80
    His birth name (including the 'Maria part') was 41 letters long.
    He was notoriously indecisive.
    His encyclical, Humanæ Vitæ (Of Human Life), written in 1968, was widely criticized as 'moving back in time' and not keeping with technological advances, such as artificial birth control.
    Many Catholics opted to use birth control in spite of his and the church's stand.
    He was quoted in 1972 - 'It is as if from some mysterious crack, no, it is not mysterious, from some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.' Both conservative and liberal Catholics scratched their heads and privately thought he was off his rocker.
    In 1972, a rumor circulated that he was being kept in seclusion and replaced by an imposter more to the church's liking.
    His press and his public image suffered by comparison with his more outgoing and affable predecessor, Pope John XXIII.
    As he grew older he thought of abdicating the papal throne and going into retirement, but didn't (another indecision).
    He was a frail child.
    Even though he was born into a wealthy family that he gave up for a lifelong servitude of God.
    As a young priest, he opposed Fascism.
    While he was archbishop of Milan, he survived a terrorist bombing of his residence.
    He became the first pope to visit the United States and all continents (except Antarctica), and was the most travelled pope in history (until Pope John Paul II), earning the nickname the Pilgrim Pope.
    He was the first pope for centuries to meet the heads of various Eastern Orthodox faiths.
    He survived an assassination attempt at Manila International Airport. An assailant lunged at him with a dagger, but was subdued.
    Though the Vatican denied it, wide belief is he received a stab wound in the incident.
    He was a major figure in the history of the Church's tradition of social teaching and used his position to call attention to social injustices.
    Those who knew him before and after his elevation to pope describe him as a brilliant man, humble, reserved, deeply spiritual, and gentle, a man of infinite courtesy.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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