Franciszek Macharski

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Cardinal Franciszek Macharski (2002)
Coat of arms of Cardinal Franciszek Macharski

Cardinal Franciszek Macharski (born May 20, 1927 in Krakow , Poland ; † August 2, 2016 there ) was Archbishop of Krakow . He was Karol Wojtyła's companion and played a key role in the political change in Poland in 1989 .


Franciszek Macharski, who had to interrupt his schooling several times due to the Second World War and graduated from high school in secret high schools, entered the theological seminary of the Archdiocese of Krakow after the end of the Second World War , where he studied with Karol Wojtyła , among others . At the same time as his training in the seminary, he completed his studies in Catholic theology at the Jagiellonian University .

On April 2, 1950, he was ordained a priest by the Archbishop of Kraków, Adam Stefan Cardinal Sapieha , and worked for the following six years as vicar in the Kozy parish . From 1956 to 1960 Macharski completed a doctoral degree in Friborg (Switzerland), at the end of which he received a doctorate in pastoral theology .

From 1960 to 1970 he was spiritual at the seminary in Cracow and lecturer in pastoral theology at the Pontifical College in the same city. From 1970 to 1977 he then headed the seminary of the Archdiocese of Krakow as rector . 1977 appointed him the then archbishop of Krakow, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla , the canon of the Metropolitan Chapter of the Wawel Cathedral , as well as his private secretary.

On December 29, 1978, Macharski was appointed by Pope John Paul II to succeed him as Archbishop of Krakow. He received his episcopal ordination personally on January 6 of the following year in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome by the Pope. Co- consecrators were the auxiliary bishops Julian Jan Groblicki and Stanisław Smoleński from Kraków .

Only six months later, John Paul II accepted him as a cardinal priest with the titular church of San Giovanni a Porta Latina in the college of cardinals . Cardinal Macharski, like John Paul II, supported the Solidarność movement . After the assassination attempt on the Pope on May 13, 1981, he took part in the organization of the white march.

He attended the 2005 conclave . On June 1, 2005, Benedict XVI. his age-related resignation and appointed Stanisław Dziwisz as his successor. At the conclave in 2013 Cardinal Macharski did not take because of the age limit some more.

Franciszek Macharski died on August 2, 2016 after Pope Francis , who was in Poland for World Youth Day , had made an unscheduled visit to him at the bedside a few days earlier. Cardinal Macharski, who fell into a coma, had been in hospital since June 2016. The Polish president Andrzej Duda praised the deceased on Twitter as a "great Pole and outstanding man of the Church".


Franciszek Macharski co-chaired the Joint Commission of the Communist Government and the Polish Bishops' Conference during the political upheaval in the 1980s. He was committed to the dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism, promoted the opening of the Polish Church to the West and, above all, advocated relations between Poles and Germans. For this he was awarded the Great Federal Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2000) and the Grand Cross of the Order Polonia Restituta , the second highest Polish award (2013). Since 2007 he has been an officer in the French Legion of Honor . In 1998, at the request of children, he received the international award as Cavalier of the Order of Smiles .

Cardinal Macharski founded two weekly magazines and the diocesan Marian Radio in the Archdiocese of Kraków . He also campaigned strongly for families in need and the homeless.

He was an honorary citizen in numerous Polish municipalities, including Wieliczka (1995), Świątniki Górne (1997), Mszana Dolna (2000), Niedźwiedź (2000), Wadowice (2001), Jordanów (2002), Zabierzów (2002), Chrzanów (2004) , Trzebinia (2004), Chełmek (2004) and Libiąż (2004). In 2005 he was the first person to be awarded the “Honoris Gratia” medal from the Mayor of Kraków. In 2015 he received the Silver Medal of Honor from the City of Krakow.

With honorary doctorates from the Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan (1989), Adamson University in Manila in the Philippines (1989), Warsaw Theological Academy (today: Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University Warsaw ) in Warsaw (1992), Krakow Theological Academy (today: Pontifical University John Paul II. Cracow ) (2000), Jagiellonian University Cracow (2000), Catholic Péter Pázmány University Budapest (2002) he was awarded. He was an honorary member of the Polish Academy of Sciences .

In 1993 he was appointed Profess-Honor- and Devotion-Grand Cross-Bailli of the Sovereign Order of Malta and in 2009 he was appointed Grand Cross Chaplain of the Order of Lazarus .


Web links

Commons : Franciszek Macharski  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Dorota Rędzikowska: Archbishop Macharski died. Poland Today August 2, 2016, accessed August 4, 2016 .
  2. Vanessa Gera: Polish Cardinal Franciszek Macharski Dies at 89th AP article, August 2, 2016, accessed on August 2, 2016 (English).
  3. ^ Mieczysław Maliński: John Paul II. His life, told by a friend. Freiburg i. B. 1979, p. 284.
  4. ^ Rinuncia dell'Arcivescovo Metropolita di Cracovia (Polonia) e Nomina del Successore. In: Daily Bulletin. Holy See Press Office , June 3, 2005, accessed May 15, 2016 (Italian).
  5. ^ Poland: Cardinal Macharski passed away. Vatican Radio, August 2, 2016, archived from the original on August 2, 2016 ; accessed on August 2, 2016 .
  6. Krakow Cardinal Macharski died. KNA -Article on , August 2, 2016 accessed on August 2, 2016 .
predecessor Office successor
Karol Cardinal Wojtyła Archbishop of Cracow
Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz