In 1978, the Polish Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II. For almost 27 years of pontificate, he has changed and strengthened the position of the institution on diplomatic matters and visited 129 countries, engaged in political discussions in all forums and in the role of world leader.
He pledged to help resolve the conflicts in the Middle East and forced the Vatican to recognize the state of Israel in 1994, being the first pope to visit a synagogue and a memorial of victims of the Holocaust. He was also responsible for a significant improvement in the Vatican’s relations with Islam, the Anglican and Lutheran Churches, Buddhism, among other beliefs, and he apologized for the errors committed by the Catholic Church in recent centuries.
The refugee drama was defined by him as the “shameful sore of our time.” Beatified in 2011, he will become a saint of the Catholic Church in one of the fastest processes of canonization in history.