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|The Catholic Church in 1978
Pope Paul VI died of a heart attack on August 6.
Albino Cardinal Luciani, Patriarch of Venice, was elected Pope by the Sacred College of Cardinals on August 26. The choice of the 65-year-old surprised most Vatican observers because it occurred on only the second day of the secret conclave and because Luciani had not been considered a leading candidate to succeed Pope Paul VI. Luciani chose the papal name John Paul I.
Pope John Paul I was found dead in his Vatican apartment on September 29. The cause of death was listed as cardiac arrest. His reign of 34 days was the shortestsince that of Pope Leo XI, who reigned for 18 days in 1605.
People in Rome grab copies of a
newspaper's special edition announcing the death of Pope
John Paul I.
Karol Cardinal Wojtyla was elected Pope by the Sacred College of Cardinals on October 16. The choice of the 58-year-old Archbishop of Krakow to succeed Pope John Paul I marked the first time since 1522 that a non-Italian was elected Pope. Wojtyla took the papal name John Paul II and was formally installed on October 22.
Pope John Paul II blesses crowds
after his installation.
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This page was last updated on October 16, 2017.