Text: H.Res.400 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (10/20/2003)

[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 400 Engrossed in House (EH)]

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                                                      October 20, 2003.
Whereas Karol Jozef Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 
        election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, Poland, on May 18, 1920, 
        the day of the ``Polish Miracle'', the nation's first military victory 
        in 200 years and a day which set in motion events which briefly restored 
        Poland's independence;
Whereas he made his First Holy Communion at age 9 and was confirmed at 18, and 
        saw his mother, father, and eldest brother all die before he turned 21, 
        and upon graduation from Marcin Wadowita high school in Wadowice, he 
        enrolled in Cracow's Jagiellonian University in 1938 and in a school for 
Whereas the Nazi occupation forces closed Cracow's Jagiellonian University, 
        where he was enrolled in 1939 and young Karol had to work in a quarry 
        and then in a chemical factory to earn his living and to avoid being 
        deported to Germany;
Whereas in 1942, aware of his call to the priesthood, he began courses in the 
        clandestine seminary of Cracow, run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, 
        archbishop of Cracow, and at the same time, Karol Wojtyla was one of the 
        pioneers of the ``Rhapsodic Theatre'', which was forced to hold 
        clandestine performances;
Whereas in 1948 he returned to Poland and was vicar of various parishes in 
        Cracow as well as chaplain for the university students until 1951, when 
        he took up again his studies on philosophy and theology;
Whereas on January 13, 1964, he was nominated Archbishop of Cracow by Pope Paul 
        VI, who made him a cardinal June 26, 1967;
Whereas on October 16, 1978, Karol Wojtyla began his pontificate as Pope John 
        Paul II;
Whereas Pope John Paul II has used his pontificate in unique fashion, emerging 
        as more than just the leader of the Catholic Church, but a global voice 
        against communism, oppression, and tyranny; working both in public and 
        private, to exercise his influence against the forces of injustice;
Whereas in the 1980s, Pope John Paul II was a vocal supporter of the Polish 
        Solidarity movement and his support for striking workers at the Gdansk 
        Shipyard was a key to the downfall of communism in Poland, and started 
        in motion a chain of events ultimately leading to the dissolution of the 
        Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact;
Whereas his criticism of such dictators as Alfred Stroessner in Paraguay, 
        Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines 
        encouraged opposition movements that eventually brought down those 
Whereas Pope John Paul II has become the most traveled Pope in history, 
        journeying more than a half million miles visiting 125 countries, 
        conducting meetings with numerous government leaders during 38 official 
        visits, holding 690 audiences and meetings held with Heads of State and 
        226 audiences and meetings with Prime Ministers;
Whereas Pope John Paul II has welcomed more than 16,000,000 pilgrims in the 
        General Audiences which were held weekly at the Vatican; and met with 
        tens of millions of the faithful during pastoral visits made in Italy 
        and throughout the world, including more than 8,000,000 pilgrims during 
        the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 alone;
Whereas Pope John Paul II has been a prolific writer completing 14 encyclicals, 
        13 apostolic exhortations, 11 apostolic constitutions, and 42 apostolic 
        letters, and he has also published three books: ``Crossing the Threshold 
        of Hope'' (October 1994); ``Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of 
        My Priestly Ordination'' (November 1996); and ``Roman Tryptych--
        Meditations'', a book of poems (March 2003);
Whereas John Paul II has presided over 139 beatification ceremonies (1,311 
        Blesseds proclaimed) and 48 canonization ceremonies (469 Saints) during 
        his pontificate, and he has held 9 consistories in which he created 231 
Whereas in 1981, Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt after being 
        shot twice by Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter's Square, whom the Pope would 
        later personally meet and forgive;
Whereas Pope John Paul II, a survivor of fascism, communism, and terrorism, has 
        been a tireless voice for morality and decency; and
Whereas Pope John Paul II has emerged as more than just a spiritual leader for 
        the world's Catholics, but as one of the most influential and 
        inspirational leaders of the 20th and 21st centuries, as a consistent 
        voice for peace and human dignity: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the United States House of Representatives honors the 25th 
anniversary of Pope John Paul II's ascension to the papacy.