Paul VI reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it. He fostered improved ecumenical relations with Orthodox and Protestants, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements.
Paul VI sought dialogue with the world, with other Christians, other religions, and atheists, excluding nobody. He saw himself as a humble servant for a suffering humanity and demanded significant changes of the rich in America and Europe in favour of the poor in the Third World.His positions on birth control and other issues were controversial in Western Europe and North America, but were applauded by peoplein Eastern and Southern Europe and Latin America.