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Pope's are elected by a conclave of cardinals voting for a candidate. Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was chosen on October 16, 1978. He took the name John Paul II.

Just a quick addition: He was elected after the 33 day papacy of Pope John Paul I who died suddenly in his sleep due to complications of an undiagnosed heart condition (it's considered by some that John Paul I died from a heart attack). 1978 is sometimes referred as the "Year of 3 Popes" because Pope Paul VI (elected in 1963) led the Church until his death in the summer, than the first conclave elected Cardinal Albino Luciani as Pope John Paul I, followed by the second conclave in October elected Cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II who closed out the year and reigned until 2005.

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โˆ™ 2013-04-22 22:29:14
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The pope before John Paul II was John Paul I, who reigned for only 33 days before he died.


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