Vatican City. According to
Countryaah, Pope John Paul II visited Croatia during
the year, where he blessed one of the most controversial
historical figures of Croatian history, Archbishop Alojzije
Stepanić (see Croatia).
In the spring, the commander of the Swiss Guard General
Alois Esterman was murdered along with his wife. The
perpetrator was a young deputy corporal who committed
suicide shortly after the deed.
During the year, the Vatican State appointed a commission
to investigate the atrocities committed during the
Inquisition. Shortly thereafter, the professor of philosophy
of law at the Vatican University, Università Cattolica del
Sacro Cuore, Luigi Lombardi Vallauri was dismissed in an
internal trial where he was not entitled to defend himself.
The reason was stated to be that he devoted himself to error
lessons. Vallauri had expressed his views on hell, sin and
sexual morality. He found no resemblance between the sins a
human can commit and an eternal burning hell.
Leonardo Zega, editor of the Italian newspaper Famiglia
Christiana, was forced after leaving the Vatican to leave
his post because he had not condemned homosexuality.
In October 2002, the pope makes deceased mother Teresa
from Calcutta for the weekend. She may have been the most
prominent religious figure of the 20th century, but the
sanctification was at the same time debated because of her
opposition to the use of contraception. Almost at the same
time, Pope Opus Dei's founder, José Escrivá de Balaguer made
the weekend. Opus Dei is a highly conservative order within
the Catholic Church, and it gained tremendous influence in
the 20th century. This weekend performance had strong
Despite strong pressure from the Vatican in 2003, the EU
Constitutional Consent refused to include a passage in the
EU's new constitution on "EU Christian roots".
In July, the Vatican launched a worldwide campaign
against gay marriage, which it characterized as immoral, not
natural and devastating. This was done in an attempt to
reverse the progress made in this area in Europe and
In October 2003, the greatly weakened 83-year-old pope
celebrated his 25th anniversary in the papacy. The number of
Catholics continues to rise, despite the Vatican's
reactionary development under Pope Paul II. The Vatican's
opposition to the use of contraception continues to
contribute to the spread of AIDS and other STDs.
Pope John Paul II died April 2, 2005. He suffered from
advanced Parkinson's, and his illness was of grave concern
to Catholics and especially the Vatican City. On February
24, he had been admitted to the Gemilla Hospital in Rome for
the flu. His condition was improving as he suffered a heart
and circulatory collapse. Hundreds of thousands gathered in
St. Peter's the following day and several Catholic countries
Most observers outside the Vatican agreed to rate John
Paul's post as highly conservative. He crushed most of the
liberation theological currents of the Catholic Church in
the Third World, thus reducing the church's social and
political commitment. His strong opposition to contraception
also contributed to the spread of AIDS in especially
Catholic countries in Africa.