Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
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Pope John Paul II's views on abortion and embryology have been very influential to the Roman Catholic Church. He strictly forbade abortion and other threats to what he regarded as early human life in his encyclical entitled "Evangelium Vitae," meaning the "Gospel of Life." His authority on moral and social issues was highly regarded during his lifetime. Known around the world for his peace efforts and extensive writings on everything from poverty and Communism to contraception and reproductive issues, Pope John Paul II's legacy consists of his major contributions to the Roman Catholic Church' s body of doctrine and the effects of his long period of influence on Catholics and governments throughout the world.