Much-loved Pope not without paradox
BEFORE the Second Vatican Council convened in 1962, a little-known Polish bishop called Karol Wojtyla wrote to the organisers, telling them that the world wanted to know what the Catholic Church had to say about the human condition.
Karol Wojtyla went on to become Supreme Pontiff of the Church, one of the greatest men of his age and one of the greatest Popes of any age. When he died in 2005, a Cuban cardinal said that he had "carried the moral weight of the world" for 26 years. But argument continues about whether he ever answered the question he himself asked in 1962.
As so frequently with such a towering figure, his life and reign had their consistent threads but also their paradoxes.