The Pope carries his cross to the end

The passing of Pope John Paul II will mark the end of an era for the Catholic Church.

2nd April, 2005

The passing of Pope John Paul II will mark the end of an era for the Catholic Church. John Paul's papacy, which has lasted 26 years and six months, has been the third-longest in history.

Only the first Pope, St Peter, and Blessed Pius IX, who was pope for more than 31 years in the 19th century, served for longer.

But, while John Paul II may not have topped the list of longest-serving popes, he smashed a...

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