In 1958, Wojtyla was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Krakow, Poland, under Archbishop Eugeniusz Baziak. Four years later the archbishop died and Bishop Wojtyla was named vicar capitular and placed in charge of the archdiocese of Krakow. In 1964, he was officially appointed archbishop of Krakow. From 1962 to 1965, Wojtyla addressed the Vatican Council II on several occasions concerning important doctrines of the Catholic Church. In 1967, the then-pope Paul VI elevated Wojtyla to a cardinal. During his cardinalate,
Cardinal Wojtyla began to make the first of his many international journeys, including trips to the United States in 1969 and 1976.
With the deaths of Pope Paul VI in August 1978 and Pope John Paul I in September of 1978, a secret conclave in the Vatican was called by the College of Cardinals to elect the 263rd successor to St. Peter as bishop of Rome. Cardinal Wojtyla was elected in October 1978, at which time he chose the new name John Paul II. With tears in his eyes he accepted the position. The new pope made his first public appearance shortly afterwards from the balcony overlooking Saint Peter's Square in which he announced to the gathered crowd, "I was afraid to receive this nomination, but I did it in the spirit of obedience to Our Lord and in the total confidence in his mother, the most holy Madonna." Humility and professed obedience to God have characterized his papacy. Like his predecessor, John Paul I, he declined coronation and was installed as pope in a simple Mass in Saint Peter's Square on 22 October 1978.