Did Pope John Paul l do anything that impacted the Church?

He was only Pope for 33 days. Not the shortest papacy, I believe that was Pope Urban Vll, but still a very short papacy. I was curious, did he publish any encyclical, motu proprio, exhortation during his brief papacy?
I feel bad but I feel like the only thing I know about him as a pope is that he died 33 days into his papacy.


All he really did in his capacity as Pope were some speeches, audiences, and addresses, all of which are here:


The book “Illustrissimi: Letters from Pope John Paul I,” which were letters he wrote before becoming Pope to historical figures, is an interesting read that gives some insight into his personality.


I watched a very good movie about him. He is currently Venerable and on his way to becoming a Saint.


Keep in mind, he did do some very important stuff before he was Pope.


1978 … (died Sep 28, 1978)

  • Urbi et Orbi Radio Messge
  • Message To the College of Cardinals
  • Speech to the Marian Congress of Ecuador
  • Homily for the Mass for the inauguration of the Pontificate
  • Letter to the Bishops of the Episcopal Conferences of Argentina and Chile
  • Speech to a group for American Bishops of the ad limina visit
  • Homily for Eucharistic Celebration and Installation in the Chair of the Bishop of Rome
  • Speech to a group for Phillippian Bishops of the ad limina visit


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I am not sure, but I remember before him always having this vision of Popes being very stern, and he had struck me as being very warm and approachable.


Prior to becoming pope, he wrote some “letters” to various historical figures, like Mark Twain. Read it.

Despite the short pontificate, he was a pope of firsts:

  • He was the first pope to refuse to be crowned.

  • He was the first modern pope to speak in the singular form, using ‘I’ instead of the royal we.

  • He initially refused to use the sedia gestatoria.

All his official statements here.


A+ grade for these… Nice work Venerable Pope John Paul I!


How would that have been possible? Mark Twain died in 1910.

Thank you. I didn’t know this. Very informative.

That would be a lot of Pope Saints in a small time frame in history. Wouldn’t that basically mean every deceased pope since Pope Saint John XXlll (died in 1962)is a Saint?
I mean it is interesting and it happened in the early Church but if I’m not mistaken Pope Saint Pius V(died 1572) and Pope Saint Pius X(died 1914) have absolutely no Pope Saints in between them.

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That’s why I put “letters” in quotes! They are for us.

I haven’t read the one to Twain in years, but recall it. Twain wrote that when you see a man, call him John, there are three men: John, as others think of him. John, as he thinks of himself. And John, as he “really is”.

The future pope tells “Twain” all three are somewhat similar, somewhat different, all interesting, but as a priest he has to focus on the third.

Hope I did a fair summary after 40 years.

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Ohhh I see.
I’ll check them out. Sounds interesting.

The first (and only) thing which came to my mind was the name he took as Pope, ie. John Paul. By taking it he emphatically endorsed those two recent pontificates and committed himself to continue their legacy, and in particular continue implementing Vatican II, rather than say pausing the ongoing process which was being deeply felt through the Church and resisted in many places. The importance of the name was shown when John Paul II also choose it.

I was alive at the time but not a Catholic so I wasn’t aware of how his choice of papal name was received by Catholics but I expect it was taken as very significant, and probably more welcomed by “progressives” than “traditionalists”.

To me, it suggests drawing a line in the sand and saying “No going back”.


There is a rumor, nothing more, that Father Gommar DePauw (requiescat in pace) was invited to Rome to assist PJPI in restoring the Traditional Latin Mass.

Interesting to contemplate how that might have played out.

I find that hard to believe from the post above that lists the firsts in his pontificate. I doubt the first pope to refuse to be crowned would be trying to restore the TLM, unless maybe we mean in a sense of Benedict XVl where it was fine to say but the new mass was the norm.

Does anyone know, did previous popes speak in the first person plural all the time, or just in formal usage? Anglican bishops (at any rate in England) still use the first person plural, but only in the most formal contexts (for example, bishops typically date documents “in the nth year of our consecration and/or translation”). A bishop wouldn’t say we/us/our in a sermon or a letter or just talking to somebody. The Queen also uses the first person plural but, again, only in the most formal contexts, typically in legal documents. Even when addressing Parliament, for example, the Queen uses the singular form. So I was wondering, did popes refer to themselves in the plural form in the course of ordinary speech, e.g. holding an audience, giving a homily, having a conversation, or only in the most formal contexts such as the promulgation of an official document? Does the pope ever use the plural form now? E.g. writing a formal letter to the head of state of a republic or dating something to a certain year of his pontificate?

this movie is also on FORMED.org

And Pope Pius XII is Venerable and in his way to Sainthood. Maybe St. Pope Francis eventually

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