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Hanna SUCHOCKA – The Vatican ‘Revolution’ of Pope Francis and the ‘Revolution’ of John Paul II


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The goal of the article is an analysis of the opening years of the pontificates of Popes John Paul II and Francis in the aspect of their alleged ‘revolutionary’ character. When Card. Jorge M. Bergoglio was elected Pope in 2013, the media began to speak abut “the first such revolution in history.” The main question addressed in the article is of whether Pope Francis’s pontificate is indeed the first revolution of this kind. Thus an attempt was made to compare the opening years of the two pontificates in question in view of the fact that the election of John Paul II was described as the “Wojtyła shock.” The analysis points to the expectations that accompanied the election of John Paul II and the election of Francis in the context of the social and political situation in Italy, as well as in the entire Church, in 1978 and 2013 respectively. An important element of the analysis is the observation that the pontificates of John Paul II and Francis bear marks of inspiration coming from their native regions and that the inspiration in question has determined the priorities of their pontificates, among others the attitude of each of the Popes to the controversial issue of the theology of liberation. Other elements of the analysis involve a comparison of the teachings of the two Popes on the family, of their ways of approaching the faithful and breaking stereotypes. The reform of the Roman Curia was also discussed. The analysis, brief by necessity, leads to the conclusion that indeed both these pontificates may be described as revolutionary, in a creative rather than destructive way though. The differences in their evaluation result from the temporal and cultural distance.

Translated by Dorota Chabrajska

Keywords: John Paul II, Francis, Vatican revolution, revolutionary Popes, reform of the Roman Curia, theology of liberation, family

Contact: John Paul II Institute, Faculty of Philosophy,
John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin,
Al. Racławickie 14, 20-950 Lublin, Poland

E-mail: ethos@kul.lublin.pl
Phone: +48 81 4453218



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» 115Suchocka.pdf


  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 12.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887