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pope idol

9 reasons why Pope John Paul II was the best pope

The Pope and Packie Bonner, the Pope with some birds, the Pope with a watch-stealing baby…

ALL THIS TALK of popes has got us thinking about who the best pope ever was.

While there are quite a few to choose from, we don’t have to look too far back to find our favourite, and we’ve found 9 reasons why he’s the favourite.

Presenting Pope John Paul II and the way he might look at you…

1. There was the time he met the Italia 90 Irish football team


Is he doing a “pull my finger” on Charlie O’Leary? (©INPHO)

2. There was the time he wore Bono’s glasses

3. There was the time he played peek-a-boo

4. There was the time he waved at this bird

(AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti, File)

And the time he told this bird to feck off…

“Feck off bird” (The Funniest Faces)

5. There was the time he came to Ireland


PA Archive/Press Association Images

PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

6. The time he was a goalkeeper

When Pope John Paul II was just regular old Karol Wojtyla in Poland, he was a big fan of the beautiful game.

He played in goals in school and at university and it’s reported that he supported Fulham and Liverpool, but that Polish team Cracovia Cracow were the real holders of his heart.

The Pope had a special world for Irish goalie Packie Bonner when the Italia 90 team met him in Rome

“Still got it” (GIULIO BROGLIO/AP/Press Association Images)

7. There was the time he almost got a standing ovation for sneezing


8. There was the time he kissed this baby, even though it was trying to steal his watch

AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti, File

9. And there was the time he met with his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca

In his prison cell in 1983…

(AP Photo/Arturo Mari, File)

Mehmet Ali Agca show and wounded the Pope in St Peter’s Square in Rome in 1981, hitting him four times.

The gunman’s hand aiming the pistol can be seen to the left of the photo (AP Photo)

Of course Pope John Paul II was not without his critics.

His response to clerical sex abuse, his views on homosexuality, marriage, contraception, attitudes towards women in the Church are among the criticisms of him during his time as Pope from 1979 until his death in 2005.

Pope John Paul II beatified before more than a million people in Rome>

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