John Pope

John Pope


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John Pope was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on 16th March, 1822. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1842. He was employed as a topographical engineer with the United States Army. During the Mexican War Pope served under General Zachary Taylor.

On the outbreak of the American Civil War Pope was appointed brigadier general of volunteers in 1861. After a successful campaign along the Mississippi, the following year on 26th June, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of major general and given command of the new Army of Virginia. Pope was told to protect Washington, and to control the Shenandoah Valley.

Pope soon made it clear he intended to develop an aggressive approach to the war. Soon after taking command he issued a proclamation to his troops: "I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies; from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him where he was found; whose policy has been attack and not defense. I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily."

In July, 1862 Pope was instructed to move east to Blue Ridge Mountains towards Charlottesville. It was hoped that this move would help George McClellan by drawing Robert E. Lee away from defending Richmond. Lee's 80,000 troops were now faced with the prospect of fighting two large armies: McClellan (90,000) and Pope (50,000)

Joined by Thomas Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate troops constantly attacked George McClellan and on 27th June they broke through at Gaines Mill. Convinced he was outnumbered, McClellan retreated to James River. Abraham Lincoln, frustrated by McClellan's lack of success, sent in Pope, but he was easily beaten back by Jackson.

In July, 1862, Pope decided to try a capture Gordonsville, a railroad junction between Richmond and the Shenandoah Valley. Pope selected Nathaniel Banks to carry out the task. Robert E. Lee considered Gordonsville to be strategically very important and sent Thomas Stonewall Jackson to protect the town. On 9th August, Jackson defeated Banks at Cedar Run. Pope now ordered George McClellan army based at Harrison's Landing to join the campaign to take the railroad junction. When Lee heard this news he brought together all the troops he had available to Gordonsville.

On 29th August, troops led by Thomas Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet, attacked Pope's Union Army at Manassas, close to where the first battle of Bull Run had been fought. Pope and his army was forced to retreat across Bull Run. The Confederate Army pursued the Army of Virginia until they reached Chantilly on 1st September.

The Union Army lost 15,000 men at Bull Run. Pope was blamed for the defeat. A staff officer later recalled that "Pope was entirely deceived and outgeneralled. His own conceit and pride of opinion led him into these mistakes." Relieved of his command Pope was sent to Minnesota to deal with a Sioux uprising. In September, 1862 Pope was appointed commander of the Department of the Northwest.

After the war Pope was commander of the Department of the Missouri (1870-83) where he was given the responsibility of protecting settlers from Native American attacks.

Pope, who regained the rank of major general in October, 1882, he retired from the United States Army in 1886. John Pope died in Sandusky, Ohio, on 23rd September, 1892.

I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies; from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary, and to beat him where he was found; whose policy has been attack and not defense. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily. Meantime I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find so in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of "taking strong positions and holding them", of "lines of retreat", and of "bases of supplies". Let us discard such ideas.

Stonewall Jackson, with a force of 26,000 men, had worked his way through Thoroughfare Gap to the north of us, had swooped all around Pope's flank, having made a march of fifty miles in thirty-six hours and pounced upon Manassas Junction, where Pope's supplies and ammunition were stored, helping himself to whatever he could use and carry off, and burning the rest. Jeb Stuart's troopers, accompanying Jackson, had even raided Pope's headquarters at Catlett's Station. It was a brilliant stroke, but at the same time most hazardous, for Pope's largely superior forces might have been rapidly concentrated against him, with Longstreet, his only support, still far away.

General Pope was, no doubt, an able man and good soldier, but, whether from accidental mistakes or natural incapacity to lead a large force, his performances as an independent commander never equaled his promises. He had two marked failings - first, he talked too much of himself, of what he could do and of what ought to be done; and;, secondly, he indulged, contrary to good discipline and all propriety, in very free comments upon his superiors and fellow commanders.

Pope was entirely deceived and outgeneralled. His own conceit and pride of opinion led him into these mistakes. On the field his conduct was cool, gallant, and prompt.


John Pope

A career United States Army officer, John Pope was appointed on June 14, 1861 to brigadier general of volunteers by President Abraham Lincoln. Pope began the war in the Western Department with command of the District of North and Central Missouri. In 1862, after relative success with a victory at Blackwater, Missouri, Major General Henry W. Halleck appointed Pope to command the Army of the Mississippi. Pope’s orders were to clear the Mississippi River in order for easy Union movement. On March 14th Pope and his army captured New Madrid, Missouri and on April 7th they captured the heavily fortified Island No. 10. Pope’s success in the Mississippi not only opened large portions of the Mississippi for the Union, but it also propelled Pope from brigadier general to major general.

In March of 1862 Pope was ordered to the East where he was placed in command of the Army of Virginia by President Lincoln. In late August 1862 Pope met with Confederate General Robert E. Lee, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and General James Longstreet at the Second Battle of Manassas in Manassas Virginia. Pope and his men were able to survive the initial blows from Lee and Jackson however, a final surprise attack by Longstreet proved to be too much. Pope’s Army of Virginia lost at Manassas on August 30th, 1862. In September Pope was relieved of command, he was transferred to the Department of the Northwest for the remainder of the war.


20 Reasons Why Pope John XII was the Worst Pope in History

Michelangelo&rsquos famous male nude, David, sculpted between 1501 and 1504, Florence. Daily Beast

10. The pope was also fond of men, and sometimes ordered them to be procured for him

It wasn&rsquot just women who were in danger around John. The issue of homosexuality remains a hot-potato for the modern Catholic Church, and despite a recent softening under Pope Francis many Catholics still see it as an abomination. So you can only imagine how anti-gay the 10 th century church was, and how shocked it would have been to learn that Pope John XII, its head, was partial to young men ‘hung like a mule&rsquo. Indeed, he also housed male concubines in the Vatican Palace to cater for all of his desires, and was accused of hosting homosexual orgies.

When he decided that he needed a new lover, or his stock of male concubines had got sick of him and sneaked off, John would send his servants out to track down men meeting his aforesaid criteria. As with most of the accusations levelled at John, it&rsquos hard to determine how much of the story about his activities with other men are true. After all, being accused of homosexuality was one of the worst insults you could receive in his day. Historians have suggested, alternatively, that John modelled himself on Roman Emperors, many of whom were known to be bisexual.


The Death Of Pope John Paul I

Wikimedia Commons Pope John Paul I, then Albino Luciani, at his ordination ceremony.

On the morning of Sept. 29, 1978, Sister Vicenza entered the pope’s room to check on him, after noticing that he had yet to come out for his morning coffee. To her horror, she found him dead in his bed. She quickly summoned another sister to confirm what she’d found, a younger nun named Sister Margherita. Both nuns reported that the pope’s skin was cold and that his nails were surprisingly dark.

The official report claimed that Pope John Paul I was found “lying in his bed, with a book opened beside him, and the reading light on.” The official cause of death, according to a Vatican doctor, was a heart attack, occurring around 11 p.m.


John Pope

General John Pope was a senior Union officer during the American Civil War. Pope fought successfully in the Western Theatre but is best known for his exploits in the Eastern Theatre of the American Civil War. Pope’s career was overshadowed by his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run.

John Pope was born on March 16 th 1822 in Louisville, Kentucky. His father served as a judge in Illinois Territory and knew Abraham Lincoln when he worked as a lawyer.

Pope graduated from US Military Academy in 1842 and became a career army officer. He fought in the Mexican-American War during which time he was given the temporary rank of captain. However, Pope spent a great deal of his time as a topographical officer mapping out Florida and New Mexico. Prior to the American Civil War, Pope’s main task was his involvement in the planning for a railway that was to cross America.

Pope’s family connection to the Lincoln’s was seen when Lincoln was voted President. Pope was one of just four officers selected to escort the President –elect to Washington DC.

Shortly after the American Civil War broke out in April 1861, Pope was put in charge of Illinois volunteers with the rank of Brigadier General (June 1861).

Pope fought successfully in Missouri and along the Mississippi River – all part of the Western Theatre of the American Civil War. The overall commander of the Western Theatre was Major General John Frémont. He did not get on with Pope and there is little doubt that Pope used his connections in Washington to try to get Frémont relieved of his command. There is also littler doubt that Frémont knew what Pope was trying to do. It was hardly a recipe for military success – yet Pope was successful both militarily and in his attempt to get Frémont removed from his command – he was succeeded by Major General Henry Halleck.

Pope achieved a victory at Blackwater, Missouri, that resulted in the Confederates in the region retreating and the capture of 1,200 prisoners-of-war. Suitably impressed with this achievement, Halleck appointed Pope to command the Army of the Mississippi in February 1862.

Pope’s army consisted of 25,000 men and his primary task was to clear the Confederates from the Mississippi River. In this he was very successful. In April 1862, the heavily fortified Confederate post called Island No 10 was captured. 12,000 men surrendered along with their weapons. The loss of Island No 10 freed up the Mississippi River for Union navigation as far south as Memphis. In recognition of this achievement, Pope was promoted to Major General.

The success Pope experienced in the Western Theatre was not matched by his contemporaries in the Eastern Theatre. Major General George McClellan failed in his attempt to capture Richmond during the Peninsula Campaign and it was felt that Pope might just have that magic touch to rectify the situation.

Pope was brought from the Western Theatre to the Eastern Theatre and given command of the Army of Virginia. His success in the Western Theatre may well have gone to his head – he was very keen to let anyone who would listen know about his successes there, especially the Union press. However, he immediately angered the men in the Army of Virginia by criticising their past performance in battle and comparing their failure in the east with his success in the west. His message to them regarding their lack of fighting efficiency would come back to haunt Pope very quickly.

His first major engagement in battle was against an army commanded by General Robert E Lee aided by ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. By any standards they were a formidable pairing and Pope was definitely out of his league with regards to his strategic thinking.

Pope had a major advantage at the Second Battle of Bull Run – his far larger army. Pope had 70,000 men at his disposal while Lee had 55,000. In fact, Lee decided to split his army in two. He sent Jackson with 24,000 men to attack Pope’s rear after outflanking Pope’s army. When Lee actually attacked Pope’s main force, he did so with 31,000 men. However, the simultaneous attack in the front and in the rear of his army confused Pope. To make matters worse for Pope, Jackson captured his main supply base at Manassas Station.

Pope suffered a major defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas) fought between August 28 th and August 29 th 1862. Pope was simply outthought by Lee but he tried to push the blame for this defeat onto his subordinate officers, primarily Brigadier General Fitz John Porter who was accused of disobeying orders. Porter faced a court martial and was found guilty. In 1879, Porter was officially exonerated of all charges by a Board of Inquiry, which placed the blame for the defeat firmly on Pope.

However, his attempts to push the blame for the overwhelming defeat on others came to nothing and Pope was relieved of his command in September 1862.

Following his defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Pope was moved to Minnesota where he commanded the US Army in the Dakota War of 1862. He was given command of the Department of the Missouri in January 1865. He negotiated the surrender of Confederate troops in the region following Lee’s surrender in April 1865.

In April 1867, Pope was appointed governor the ‘Reconstruction 3 rd Military District’ and set up his headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. He held this post until December 1867. Probably his most famous action during his time as governor was to order that African Americans could serve on juries during trials. On paper, it was an important statement of intent even if the southern states post-American Civil War were not conducive to civil rights.

Following his time in Atlanta, Pope fought in the Apache Wars.

He had to suffer the public embarrassment of the findings of the 1879 Porter Board of Inquiry.

Pope was promoted to Major General in 1882 and retired from the army in 1886.


One of my major family lines is the Pope family. My maternal grandmother was Mary Evelyn Pope. Mary was a fourth generation resident of East Armuchee. However, the earlier Pope generations–going back to Colonial times–are subject to dispute. Two different lineages have been identified by genealogists over the years. So far no documentation has emerged to support one lineage over the other so therefore I did not go into details for either line in the Jordan’s Journey book. This post will explore some of the connections in the theory laid forth by John David Humphries in his book Georgia Descendants of Nathaniel Pope of Virginia.

Humphries’s theory describes the colonial Pope line as follows:

Nathaniel [I] (b.1603) > Nathaniel [II] (b.1640)> Nathaniel [III, alias Bridges] (b.1660) > John (b.1692)

This lineage contains several interesting connections, the first of which allies this particular Pope line with the most American colonial figure of all. Nathaniel [I] and Lucy Pope’s oldest daughter was Anne Pope. Anne married Col. John Washington and would become the great-grandmother of George Washington, first president of the United States (Humphries).

Another connection comes through Anne’s brother Nathaniel Pope (b.1640). Nathaniel married Mary Sisson. Mary was the sister of Daniel Sisson, interpreter for the Indians (Humphries).

The third interesting point comes into play with the great grandchildren of Nathaniel [I] and Lucy. Two of Nathaneil and Lucy’s sons are Nathaniel [II] and Thomas. Nathaniel [II] had a grandson named John while Thomas had a grandaughter named Elizabeth. These great grandchildren of Nathaniel [I] and Lucy, John and Elizabeth, are second cousins. But they were also husband and wife!

Click the graphic above to see an illustration of these relationships.

These sorts of connections are always fascinating–even if I can’t be 100% sure that my Pope family descends from this line. Exploring the various theories makes for an interesting way to spend some time. You can read more about the Pope line in the Jordan’s Journey book.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog via email or RSS. If you enjoyed this post, pass it along to someone else who might be interested (and leave a comment here too).

UPDATE: The original graphic on this post contained an error. It showed that Lawrence Washington died in 1690 (4 years before his son was born)! When creating the chart I made an error. Lawrence was married in 1690, had his son Augustine in 1694, and died in 1698. The graphic has been corrected. (Many thanks to Brian Centrone for bringing this to my attention.)

Humphries, John D. Georgia Descendants of Nathaniel Pope of Virginia, John Humphries of South Carolina, and Allen Gay of North Carolina. Atlanta, GA: J.D. Humphries, 1934. Print. See WorldCat.

Guthrey, William M. Genealogical Chart of the Known Descendants of Micajah Pope 1808-1867: With an Outline of His American Ancestors, 1634-1844. Collinsville, OK: 1972. Print. See WorldCat.


John Pope - History

Although Pope John XV is spoken of as having a pontificate marked by greed and nepotism, there is little in the way of facts to support it. The same can not be said of the Roman dictator. John certainly had to be careful of whatever he did, since he was succeeding two popes who were murdered. He had to watch himself as Crescentius II, the current dictator, was the son of Crescentius I, who is seen as having arranged the recent murders of other popes.

John was the son of the Roman presbyter, Leo, born possibly as late as 950. He was a learned man and a writer. Before he rose to the Chair of Peter, he was the cardinal-priest at the Church of St. Vitalis. Having lived his life in Rome, he was all too aware of the politics of the city. The turmoil rarely stopped.

After the death of Pope John XIV, the Crescentii family called back from Constantinople Boniface, the anti-pope. He died, suddenly, in July 985. This death was a political setback for the Crescentii. Possibly to save face, or at least save the family good fortune, Crescentius II successfully got John elected. He was crowned some time between 6 August and 5 September, 985.

Crescentius II was the dictator of Rome and John had no temporal powers. The dictator seems to have been a micro-manager, driving John to distraction with demands. He would not allow John access to him without payment of bribes. John had to turn to Empress Theophano, the widow of Otto II and mother and regent to Otto III, several times.

Pope John is most well known for solemnly canonizing Bishop Saint Ulrich of Augsburg in January of 993. No other saint had been officially canonized before.

Although John had little temporal power in Italy, he was turned to for help with temporal problems by those in other countries. He helped mediate the quarrel of the young King Aethelred of England with Richard of Normandy. The papal legate, Leo of Trevi, announced the Peace of Rouen in a papal bull dated March 991.

The longest problem he had rolled over into the next generation, becoming known as the Investiture Controversy. This started out with a fight over the archbishopric of Rheims. A distant relative of Charlemagne, Hugh Capet usurped the Carolingian dynasty in 987. The next year, he nominated Arnulf, nephew of Charles of Lorraine, as archbishop of Rheims. Shortly after, Charles invaded France with the intention of overthrowing Capet and installing himself of the throne. He seized Rheims. Capet assumed that Arnulf was more loyal to family than to king and asked Pope John to depose the archbishop. Before the pope could respond, the French army took back Rheims, chased off Charles&rsquo army and took Charles and Arnulf into custody. Hugh held a synod to depose Arnulf and elect his friend, Gerbert, as the new archbishop. Competing synods and anti-papal rhetoric succeeded, with Capet preventing the French bishops from attending. It took much wrangling on the part of the papal legate to settle this argument, which had blown so large. The year was 995 before all was settled.

The next year, the sixteen-year old Otto III decided to go to Rome for his imperial coronation. Arriving in Pavia, he decided to stay for Easter, not chancing missing the celebrations on his way to Rome. He left 12 April. Unfortunately, Pope John died on 1 April, of a fever. The young emperor decided to elevate his cousin, Bruno, to the papacy as Gregory V. Within months, 23 October, Hugh Capet died. The archbishop, Arnulf, had remained in prison all this time. He was released and returned to his see at Rheims. Gerbert moved to Germany to be an advisor to the young Otto III. He would eventually become Pope Sylvester II, the first French pope. The one who fared the worst was Charles of Lorraine. He died in prison, where he lived for years with his wife and their children, who were born there. The children were let free.


History of Popes

His face is emblazoned on stamps in Cameroon, Cuban cigars, commemorative plates in Iowa and teacups in Canada. With close to 1 billion followers around the world"the single largest affiliated body on the planet"the pope's influence on the shape of global culture is hard to quantify. His directives circulate in the most public arenas of international diplomacy and reach the most personal issues of premarital sex and birth control. His work influences the global status of women and homosexuals and the plight of the disenfranchised and impoverished. Today, Catholics are led by Pope John Paul II. But the position transcends the individual this pope is a passing ocupant of a seat with nearly 2,000 years of history.

According to Catholic tradition, Jesus founded the papacy in the first century, when he chose St. Peter, the leader of the apostles, to be his earthly representative. Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, he states in chapter 16 of Matthew. I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Those words, which now circle the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, serve as the biblical mandate for the papacy. All popes are considered symbolic descendants of Peter and are thought to hold Peter's Chair

Since then, there have been more than 260 occupants of the papal office. The institution has endured through the defining moments of European history, including the split of the Roman Empire, the bloodbath of the crusades and the rise of the Italian Renaissance. More recently, popes have struggled to reconcile the strict traditions of doctrinaire Catholicism with the realities of modern life, including defending firm stances against abortion and the death penalty. Here, a short history of some of the most notable occupants of St. Peter's Chair.

The First Pope: St. Peter (circa A.D early 60s)
After 800 years of kisses, (including a peck from Queen Sofia of Spain, pictured in the photo), the big toe of this statue of St. Peter has been rubbed down to a stump. Catholic tradition celebrates Peter as the first Bishop of Rome and the father of the papacy. However, some modern scholars believe that visitors are kissing the wrong guy. They assert that St. Peter had little involvement in founding the Church of Rome, and his elevated position in the Catholic church was a myth that crystallized into historical fact in third-century writings.Little is known of St. Peter's actual life in Rome, but legend holds that he had a magician father and worked as a fisherman before emerging as the leader of Jesus' apostles. According to tradition, he ultimately faced crucifixion in the Vatican Circus, but because he thought himself unworthy of dying in the same manner as Jesus, he asked to be crucified upside down.

St. Leo the Great (440-461)
When Atila the Hun was sacking northern Italy and closing in on Rome during the fifth century, Pope Leo traveled to Mantua and, as this Raphael mural tells it, personally fought Atila in sword-to-sword combat. Pope Leo also expanded the authority of the papacy by declaring command over bishops and secular matters.

St. Gregory the Great (590-604)
When he abandoned life as a monk to assume the papacy, St. Gregory continued to sing the meditative chants of his monk days (Gregorian chants). He also continued other practices of monastic life, particularly writing. In his book "Pastoral Care," which became a sixth century how-to manual for bishops, he defined the ministry as the practice of "shepherding souls." While he pined for the contemplative pace of his days a monk, Gregory spent most of his time dealing with the earthly problems of his human flock during a time of rampant poverty and plague. He established the role of the pope as guardian of the poor and considered himself "Servant of the servants of God." He was also a strict enforcer of church doctrine, particularly the celibacy provision.

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The Female Pope: Joan (855-?)
The legend of Pope Joan, which has circulated in literature for more than 1,000 years, holds that for a period in the mid-ninth century, the chair of Peter was actually held by a woman. As the story goes, Joan was a gifted scholar and scientist who managed to crack the glass ceiling of the Catholic church by concealing her identity under draping clerical robes. As legend tells it, the charade wore thin when Joan, in the process of climbing on her horse for a procession, abruptly gave birth to a son. Some skeptics argue that the story of Pope Joan developed from simple misreading of medieval manuscripts, in which the name Joannus was often shortened to Joan. The Vatican holds that there has never been a female pope.

Bonniface VIII (1295-1303)
Bonniface VIII possessed an insatiable hunger for power, and was known for frequent, fiery outbursts. He brazenly claimed authority over all political matters in addition to spiritual ones, and occasionally dressed in Imperial robes. Not surprisingly, this led to frequent conflict with secular authorities, particularly Philip IV of France. Ultimately, Philip excommunicated Bonniface on charges that included sexual misconduct and heresy.

Leo X (1513-1521
Pope Leo X (right center) had a taste for extravagance and found himself with a crippling cash shortage. To cover his debts, he renewed church indulgences, which were payments citizens could make to the church to secure salvation. That did not sit well with a professor named Martin Luther who publicly denounced indulgences. Leo eventually excommunicated Martin Luther, who burned the excommunication order (left).

Pius IX (1846-1878)
With a pontificate of nearly 32 years, Pius IX holds the record for the longest reign of any pope in history. In that period, he had ample time to establish his reputation as a reactionary leader who was resistant to relaxing any elements of Catholic doctrine. In his notorious "Syllabus of Errors," he specified that one of the greatest affronts to Catholicism was believing that "the Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself to, and agree with progress, liberalism, and modern civilization." In an effort to ensure that no one tampered with his new order, he convened the First Vatican Council in 1869 and used it to redefine papal authority by claiming the pope's "supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole church, not only in matters that pertain to the discipline and government of the church throughout the whole world." The inflated powers he accorded the pope did not sit well with many Catholics, and a wave of anticlericalism consumed Europe. By the time of his death, Pius IX's popularity was so low that a mob attacked his funeral procession and attempted to throw his body into the river.

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The Peace Pope: Benedict XV (1914-1922)
In seminary, Benedict XV was called "Piccoletto" or "Tiny" because he was so short that not a single existing papal robe fit him. Despite his lack of stature, Benedict XV carried the papacy to new levels by establishing the papal office as a player in international diplomacy. He also quelled rising tensions between integralist and progressive factions of the Catholic Church. By his death in 1922, "Piccoletto" had been replaced with the nick name "The Peace Pope."

Pius XII (1939-1958)
Pope Pius XII, the leader of the Catholic Church during World War II, has emerged at the center of an explosion of criticism over the Vatican's failure to denounce Hitler's actions during the Holocaust. Several recent books blast Pius for his refusal to speak out against the extermination of Jews in death camps. Despite his silence, Pius opened the Vatican and other Italian properties to shelter Italian Jews and was reportedly involved in a clandestine plot to assassinate Hitler. In 1998, Pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for Christian involvement in the Holocaust, but many found it inadequate.

Pope John XXIII (1958-63)
Catholic leaders elected Pope John at the age of 76 on the assumption that he wouldn't rock the boat. However, John broke all of their expectations: he installed a bowling alley in the Vatican, relaxed the church's stringent anti-Communist stance and called the nuclear arms race "utterly ridiculous." In 1962 he convened the Second Vatican Council, where he encouraged church leaders "make use of the medicine of mercy, rather than that of severity." Despite his personal warmth and informality, Pope John maintained a conservative interpretation of Catholic doctrine.

Pope Paul VI (1963-78)
When Pope Paul was crowned, he delivered the allocution in nine languages as a symbolic first step in his plan to reach new communities with Catholicism. As a second step, he sold the official papal tiara and distributed the money to the poor in various countries around the world. Despite his efforts at international outreach, Pope Paul is best known for his 1968 encyclical, Humanae vitae, which banned all forms of birth control, other than rhythm. Humanae vitae aggravated tensions within the church, and put a wedge between Catholicism and secular society. The encyclical stirred up so much controversy that Pope Paul VI vowed never to issue another one. He stood by that promise, and published no more for the remaining ten years of his pontificate until his death.

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Pope John Paul II (1978-)
Pope John Paul II is the most traveled Pope in history, and has greaty expanded the global reach of Catholicism. He is an outspoken advocate of human rights, but his critics argue that his policies overlook the rights of women and homosexuals. In addition to renewing the ban on women priests and gay marriage, he released Evangelium vitae, which condemns abortion.


Important dates in the life of Pope John Paul II

The longest reigning pope in modern history, John Paul II, took his message on the road, visiting 129 countries --several repeatedly -- on 104 trips and logging more than 700,000 miles in a papacy that lasted more than 27 years. Blessed John Paul died at the age of 84 at the Vatican April 2, 2005, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday.

As the first non-Italian pope in 455 years, John Paul became a spiritual protagonist in two global transitions: the fall of European communism, which began in his native Poland in 1989, and the passage to the third millennium of Christianity. The day of his canonization is Divine Mercy Sunday -- an observance Pope John Paul put on the church's universal calendar in 2000 on the Sunday after Easter. The Polish pope was a longtime enthusiast of the Divine Mercy devotions of St. Faustina Kowalksa, whom he beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2000.

Pope John Paul also instituted the annual February 2 World Day of Consecrated Life, the February 11 World Day of the Sick and a World Meeting of Families every three years. But welcoming hundreds of thousands of young people to the Vatican for a special Palm Sunday celebration in 1984, Pope John Paul launched what has become the biggest international gathering on the church's calendar: World Youth Day.

In his later years, the pope moved with difficulty, tired easily and was less expressive, all symptoms of the nervous system disorder of Parkinson's disease. Yet he pushed himself to the limits of his physical capabilities, convinced that such suffering was itself a form of spiritual leadership.

Here are some important dates in the life of Blessed John Paul II:

1920: Karol Wojtyla is born May 18, baptized June 20 in Wadowice, Poland.

1929: His mother dies he receives first Communion.

1938: Moves to Krakow with father enters Jagellonian University, joins experimental theater group.

1940: University studies interrupted he works as manual laborer during World War II.

1941: His father dies.

1942: Enters secret seminary in Krakow.

1944: Is hit by a car, hospitalized is hidden in archbishop's home to avoid arrest by Nazis.

1945: World War II ends he resumes studies at Jagellonian University.

1946: Nov. 1, is ordained priest goes to Rome for graduate studies.

1949: Named assistant pastor in Krakow parish.

1954: Begins teaching philosophy at Catholic University of Lublin earns doctorate in philosophy.

1958: Sept. 28, ordained auxiliary bishop of Krakow.

1962: Goes to Rome for first session of Second Vatican Council.

1963: Attends Vatican II second session, is named archbishop of Krakow Dec. 30.

1964: Is installed as archbishop of Krakow attends council's third session.

1965: Makes three trips to Rome to help redraft Vatican II document on church in modern world attends final council session.

1967: June 28, is made cardinal named to first world Synod of Bishops but stays home to protest government's denial of a passport to Poland's primate, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.

1971: Attends first of several bishops' synods in Rome is elected to its permanent council.

1978: Oct. 16, is elected 264th pope and bishop of Rome visit to Assisi is first of 146 trips within Italy visit to a Rome parish marks start of visits to 317 of Rome's 333 parishes.

1979: Visits Dominican Republic and Mexico, his first of 104 trips abroad as pope also visits Poland, Ireland, United States and Turkey publishes first encyclical, apostolic exhortation convenes first plenary meeting of College of Cardinals in more than 400 years approves Vatican declaration that Swiss-born Father Hans Kung can no longer teach as Catholic theologian.

1980: Convenes special Dutch synod to straighten out problems in Dutch church becomes first modern pope to hear confessions in St. Peter's Basilica.

1981: May 13, is shot, severely wounded names Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger head of Vatican doctrinal congregation.

1982: Marks anniversary of attempt on his life with trip to Fatima, Portugal meets with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat makes Opus Dei the church's first personal prelature.

1983: Promulgates new Code of Canon Law opens Holy Year of Redemption visits would-be assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, in prison.

1984: Establishes diplomatic relations with United States.

1985: Warns that abortion in Europe is "demographic suicide" convenes special bishops' synod to review 20 years since Vatican II.

1986: Makes historic visit to Rome's synagogue calls world religious leaders to Assisi to pray for peace.

1987: Opens Marian year and writes encyclical on Mary attends first international World Youth Day in Argentina.

1988: Approves issuance of Holy See's first public financial report issues encyclical, "On Social Concerns" issues letter defending women's equality but saying they cannot be ordained priests sets up Vatican commission to try reconciling followers of schismatic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

1989: Is widely seen as key figure in collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.

1990: Issues first uniform law code for Eastern Catholic churches issues global norms for Catholic higher education approves Vatican instruction on theologians establishes diplomatic relations with Soviet Union.

1991: Issues encyclical marking 100 years of Catholic social teaching convenes special European synod to deal with rapid changes in wake of communism's collapse.

1992: Has benign tumor on colon removed issues official "Catechism of the Catholic Church."

1993: Writes first papal encyclical on nature of moral theology.

1994: Declares teaching that women cannot be priests must be held definitively establishes diplomatic relations with Israel publishes book, "Crossing the Threshold of Hope" named Time magazine's "Man of the Year."

1997: Names St. Therese of Lisieux a doctor of the church presides at synod for America, one of a series of regional synods.

1998: Historic Cuba visit is 81st trip abroad starts first permanent Catholic-Muslim dialogue.

1999: Unseals Holy Door in St. Peter's to start jubilee year 2000.

2000: Presides at numerous jubilee year events in Rome makes historic visit to Holy Land.

2003: Marks 25th anniversary as pope beatifies Mother Teresa of Kolkata, one of record number of beatifications and canonizations under his pontificate.

2004: Opens Year of the Eucharist.

2005: Publishes new book, "Memory and Identity: Conversations Between Millenniums" hospitalized, undergoes tracheotomy. Dies April 2.


John Pope (March 16, 1822-September 23, 1892)

Early Life

John Pope was born in Louisville, Kentucky into the family of Nathaniel Pope, "a prominent Illinois judge who was also a close friend of Abraham Lincoln," on March 16, 1822 (Frederiksen 1541).

Pre-Civil War
Entering the Military Academy at West Point in 1838, Pope graduated from the institution seventeenth in his class of fifty-six students as a second lieutenant in the Topographical Engineers. His first assignment was surveying the United States-Canadian border, until the outbreak of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) when he was stationed in Texas under General Zachary Taylor.

While participating in the war with Mexico, Pope quickly earned promotions, rising through the ranks. He gained the rank of first lieutenant for his actions at the Battle of Monterrey (September 21-24, 1846) and then the rank of captain following the Battle of Buena Vista (February 22-23, 1847). After the conclusion of the war with Mexico, Pope returned to his surveying duties, notably "[demonstrating] the navigability of the Red River" and working as the chief engineer of the Department of New Mexico from 1851-1853 (Frederiksen 1542). After his work with New Mexico, he began assessing a route for the new Pacific Railroad until the eruption of the War Between the States in 1861.

Civil War
In January of 1861, after Abraham Lincoln was elected, "[Pope] was still a Captain when the rebellion broke out, and was one of the officers appointed by the War Department to escort President Lincoln to Washington" from Illinois (Harper's Weekly). At first, Pope offered his services to President Lincoln as an aide, but his military experience was needed on the battlefield and he received an appointment and promotion to brigadier general of volunteers in June, where he prepared and organized recruits in Illinois for service in the brewing conflict.

In July, Pope served under Major General John C. Frémont in Missouri, whose jurisdiction was Union territory west of the Mississippi. After a short time, Pope was given command of the District of North and Central Missouri as well as part of the operations through the Mississippi River.

Pope did not have a good relationship with his commanding officer, Maj. General Frémont, and actively worked to have Frémont removed from command, which Frémont discovered. These actions widely marred Pope's reputation and many saw Pope as "[s]omewhat of a braggart by nature" (Frederiksen 1542). Frémont was ultimately replaced by Major General Henry W. Halleck on November 2, 1861, who took notice of Pope after his capture of about 1,200 of Confederate General Sterling Price's troops in Blackwater, Missouri.

Pope was then given command of the Army of the Mississippi, about 25,000 troops on February 25, 1862. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard fortified Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River at the Kentucky Bend, which was adjacent to the Confederate-held city of New Madrid. Pope swooped down on New Madrid on February 28, 1862, and on March 3 rd he laid siege to the city, capturing it on May 14 th .

Once Pope gained control of the city, they turned their attention to Island Number 10, taking advantage of portions of the Union Navy's ironclad fleet to bombard and overwhelm the island. "The siege might have been indefinitely prolonged but for "a transverse movement" undertaken by General Pope. He cut a canal through the swamp and bayou, through which a gun-boat and transports were sent to him from above. This enabled him to cross the river, and to bag the entire rebel army at Island No. 10" (Harper's Weekly). Brigadier General William W. Mackall surrendered the Confederate control of Island Number 10-including the 7,000 troops stationed there-on April 8 th . This victory, directed by Pope, led to significant victories along the Mississippi, which also led to Pope's promotion to major general.

In June of 1862, Pope was given command of the Union Army of Virginia-fresh from setbacks during the Shenandoah Valley campaign-though when Frémont discovered that he would be subordinate to Pope, he resigned his commission and Pope was subsequently promoted to brigadier general in the regular Federal Army. When he took command, he distributed a message attempting to boost the morale of his troops:

"Let us understand each other. I have come to you from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies from an army whose business it has been to seek the adversary and to beat him when he was found whose policy has been attack and not defense. In but one instance has the enemy been able to place our Western armies in defensive attitude. I presume that I have been called here to pursue the same system and to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily. I am sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor to give you. Meantime I desire you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases, which I am sorry to find so much in vogue amongst you. I hear constantly of "taking strong positions and holding them," of "lines of retreat," and of "bases of supplies." Let us discard such ideas. The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which he can most easily advance against the enemy. Let us study the probable lines of retreat of our opponents, and leave our own to take care of themselves. Let us look before us, and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance, disaster and shame lurk in the rear. Let us act on this understanding, and it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many a glorious deed and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever"-(Martin 35)

Furthermore, Pope ordered that citizens working against the Union were to be shot as spies, infuriating the Confederate military. General Robert E. Lee took it upon himself to defeat Pope, and added General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's forces to take on Pope. "The rebels became so furious with him that they denounced him by general order, in which they declared that if he or any of his officers were taken prisoners, they would be treated as common felons. Instead of being cowed by such an announcement, it, only added vigor to his al-ready vigorous plans" (Harper's Weekly). Jackson's troops overwhelmed the forces of Major General Nathaniel Banks at the Battle of Cedar Mountain (or Slaughter Mountain-August 9, 1862).

Lee then took out Pope's base of supply at Manassas Station, diverting Pope to eventually encounter the combined forces of Generals Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson at the Second Battle of Manassas, or the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28-30, 1862), which was a decisive Confederate victory.

Pope was blamed for the appalling defeat, and indignantly denied wrongdoing, placing blame on a subordinate officer, Major General Fitz John Porter, who was discharged after a court-martial. Pope was not safe from repercussions, however. He was relieved of command on September 21, 1862 and General McClelland's Army of the Potomac absorbed the Army of Virginia within a fortnight. Following his disgrace, Pope was relegated to command of the Department of the Northwest in Minnesota, managing conflicts with the Sioux, where he remained until the close of the war.

Post Civil War

In 1867, Pope took command of the Third Military District, headquartered in Atlanta, where he "[issued] orders allowing blacks to serve on juries, ordering Mayor James Williams to remain in office another year, and banning city advertising in newspapers that don't favor reconstruction" (http://www.city-book.com/Overview/history/history3.htm). At the end of the year, President Andrew Johnson removed Pope from Atlanta in lieu of General George G. Meade.

In 1879 Pope was further embarrassed when General Fitz John Porter was exonerated from wrongdoing and that the defeat at Manassas was due to Pope's lack of information.

He then commanded the Department of the Missouri from 1870-1883, continuing the work he began in Minnesota. He retired from the military in 1886, and died outside Sandusky, Ohio on September 23, 1892.


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