16.10.

1978: The Conclave at which Pope John Paul II was Elected

1978: The Conclave at which Pope John Paul II was Elected
Photo Credit To http://karolwojtyla2011.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/a-john-paul-ii-election-photo.jpg

Story Highlights

  • One hundred and eleven cardinals had the right to vote at the conclave. As many as 25 of them were from Italy, while the second most numerous were the ones from the USA – nine in all.

On this day in 1978, at 18:18, white smoke rose from the famous Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, signifying the election of a new pope. He was Karol Józef Wojtyła, the first non-Italian pope since 1523. Wojtyła was also the first Pole to be elected pope, and took the name John Paul II in honor of his predecessor, John Paul I.

It is interesting that one of the cardinals who elected John Paul II was Joseph Ratzinger, who was 51 years old at the time and served as the archbishop of Munich and Freising.

One hundred and eleven cardinals had the right to vote at the conclave. As many as 25 of them were from Italy, while the second most numerous were the ones from the USA – nine in all. In third place was France with seven, then Brazil with six cardinals. Several cardinals from communist countries were also present, such as Franjo Šeper from Yugoslavia.

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