John Paul II Becomes Pope.

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    • Abstract:
      On October 14, 1978, following the short pontificate of Pope John Paul I—who died after an extended period of poor health—the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church met to select his successor. Although the proceedings of the cardinals’ conclave are secret, later reports indicated that Cardinal Karol Józef Wojtyła of Poland emerged as a compromise candidate after the early voting deadlocked between two Italian candidates. The support of the influential Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Franz Koenig, was a critical factor in bringing other cardinals to support Cardinal Wojtyła’s candidacy. He was also strongly supported by African cardinals, who knew him as a strong evangelizer. Cardinal Wojtyła was elected pope on the eighth ballot on October 16, 1978.