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Church’s newest saint and his influence  

Pope Paul VI, who will be canonised a saint today, Sunday was called “a pope of dialogue” since he felt there was a dire need for the Church to dialogue with the world. When he succeeded Pope John XXIII, it was his task to implement the many reforms in the Church that the Second Vatican Council had called for.

His last encyclical, Humanae Vitae in 1968, called for faithfulness to the Church’s teachings and confirmed that the Church would not change its teaching on contraception. This upset many. Pope Benedict XVI called him “superhuman”; Pope Francis said he was a man who “knew how to witness, in difficult years, to the faith in Jesus Christ”.

Pope Francis claims though, that the best-written document by Pope Paul VI was his exhortation on evangelisation, Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Proclaiming the Gospel) 1975. Paul VI wrote that the Church itself “has a constant need of being evangelised,” and that people listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and when they listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. (www.crux.com)

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