Pope Paul VI

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Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) reigned as Pope from 1963 to 1978; he succeeded Pope John XXIII and was succeeded by Pope John Paul I. He was born Giovanni Montini in the village of Concesio, Lombardy, in northern Italy, and was ordained priest in 1920. Having achieved high office in the Vatican bureaucracy, Montini was made Archbishop of Milan in 1954 and a Cardinal in 1958.

As Pope, he completed the work of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) started by the liberalising Pope John XXIII, but has generally been regarded as a conservative figure. He is perhaps best remembered as author of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, restating the opposition of the Roman Catholic Church to birth control.