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Pope pays tribute to Pope Paul VI

The Pope's General Audience on Wednesday turned into a tribute session to his predecessor, Pope Paul VI.

Giovanni Battista Cardinal Montini, archbishop of Milan, was elected Pope 40 years ago, on June 21, 1963. He led the Church for 15 years, until his death on Aug. 6, 1978. His most important task was to guide the development and conclusion of the Second Vatican Council.

"I was able to appreciate personally the commitment that Paul VI did not cease to show for the necessary 'aggiornamento' of the Church to the exigencies of the new evangelization," John Paul II recalled. The Polish Pope, then archbishop of Krakow, played an important role in the council.

"He wanted the ecclesial community to open itself to the world without, however, giving way to the spirit of the world," John Paul II said of his predecessor. "With prudent wisdom, he knew how to resist the temptation to adapt himself to the modern mentality, facing with evangelical fortitude difficulties and lack of understanding and, in some cases, even hostility."


27 Jun 2003