Paul VI

(1897–1978)
   Pope.
   Paul VI was born Giovanni Battista Montini. He was ordained in 1920 and for more than thirty years he served in the Papal Secretariat of State. In 1954 he was consecrated Archbishop of Milan and he was created a Cardinal by Pope John XXIII. He was elected Pope in 1963. During his reign the second, third and fourth sessions of the Second Vatican Council took place. As a result of its activities, both the liturgy and the Canon Law of the Church were very much changed. Paul VI himself is chiefly remembered for his ecumenical efforts and for his attitude towards artificial methods of birth control. Together with Patriarch athenagoras, he expressed his regret for the rift which had taken place between the Eastern and Western Churches in 1054. The previous year he had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, during the course of which he had publicly embraced the Patriarch of Constantinople. Despite his support of the Vatican Council, his own encyclicals were not always forward-looking. In particular, in Humanae Vitae, issued in 1968, against the advice of the majority of the Papal Commission appointed by his predecessor, Paul condemned all forms of contraception except the rhythm method. This stance alienated many Roman Catholics, particularly in the developed world.
   B.C. Butler, The Theology of Vatican II, enlarged edn (1981);
   P. Hebblethwaite, Paul VI: The First Modern Pope (1993).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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