Highlights of Pope John Paul II's papacy
Key events in Pope John Paul II's papacy:
-- Oct. 16, 1978: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland, elected pope by cardinals of Roman Catholic Church, first Pole ever and first non-Italian in 455 years. Succeeds Pope John Paul I, who died after 34-day papacy.
-- Oct. 22, 1978: Formally installed as 264th Roman pontiff.
-- Jan. 25, 1979: First trip abroad, to Dominican Republic, Mexico, Bahamas.
-- June 2: Goes to Poland for first time as pope, setting off sparks that help establish Solidarity, first independent labor movement in Soviet bloc.
-- Oct. 1: Begins first pilgrimage to United States, with stops in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Iowa, Chicago, Washington, D.C.
-- May 13, 1981: Shot in abdomen by Turk in St. Peter's Square.
-- May 13, 1982: While visiting Fatima, Portugal, to give thanks to Virgin Mary for having saved his life, narrowly escapes attack by bayonet-wielding Spanish priest.
-- Sept. 15, 1982: Receives Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat at Vatican, provoking criticism from Israel and Jewish groups.
-- April 13, 1986: Makes historic visit to Rome's main synagogue.
-- Dec. 1, 1989: Meets Mikhail Gorbachev at Vatican, first ever meeting between a pope and a Kremlin chief. They announce Vatican and Moscow will establish diplomatic ties.
-- May 1, 1991: Issues first encyclical on social issues since fall of communism in Europe, giving qualified approval to capitalism but warning rich against taking advantage of poor.
-- November: Hosts meeting of bishops marked by tensions between Catholics and Orthodox over battle for souls in former communist Europe.
-- July 15, 1992: Operation for benign tumor on colon. Leaves hospital July 28.
-- Oct. 31: Formally declares church erred in condemning Galileo.
-- Aug. 13-15, 1993: Visits Denver on fourth trip to United States.
-- Sept. 4-10: Visits former Soviet Union for first time, traveling to Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.
-- Sept. 21: Meets with Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Yisrael Lau, at Vatican, first official encounter between a pontiff and chief rabbi from Israel.
-- Oct. 5: Issues encyclical "Splendor of Truth," his major statement on morality, cracking down on dissent.
-- Nov. 11: Dislocates right shoulder in fall down steps at Vatican audience. Undergoes operation and leaves hospital after overnight stay.
-- Dec. 30: Agreement signed establishing formal ties between Israel and Vatican.
-- April 29, 1994: Taken to hospital after breaking leg in fall. Undergoes hip replacement surgery. Discharged May 27.
-- Sept. 10-11: Visits Croatia, first trip to former Yugoslavia.
-- Oct. 19: His book, "Beyond the Threshold of Hope," published.
-- March 3, 1995: Issues encyclical "Gospel of Life," and condemns spreading "culture of death," including abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human embryos. Continued...