Józef Kowalczyk

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Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk
Archbishop's coat of arms of the Primate Józef Kowalczyk

Józef Kowalczyk (born August 28, 1938 in Jadowniki Mokre , Poland ) is a Polish clergyman, former diplomat of the Holy See , retired Archbishop of Gniezno and thus retired primate of Poland .


After studying Catholic theology and philosophy at the seminary Hosianum Olsztyn (Olsztyn) he received on January 14, 1962 Bishop Józef Drzazga the priesthood for the Diocese of Warmia .

Then he was chaplain in the parish of the Holy Trinity Kwidzyn (Marienwerder). In 1963 he became a doctoral degree at the Catholic University of Lublin released, which he in 1965 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome continued and in 1968 with the promotion of Dr. iur. can. completed. He also studied at the Roman Rota , the study Rotale , which he completed with the exam for Rota-lawyers, and trained as an archivist at the Vatican Archives school.

From 1969 to 1978 he worked for the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship . In addition, between 1976 and 1978 he belonged several times to the delegation of Luigi Poggi , who, as apostolic nuncio with special tasks, negotiated with the government of Poland to improve the situation of the Polish Catholic Church . Pope Paul VI bestowed on him on February 10, 1977 the honorary title of chaplain of His Holiness ( Monsignor ). From 1978 he was the organizer and manager of the Polish section in the Vatican State Secretariat .

Pope John Paul II awarded him the title of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness on January 2, 1987 .

On August 26, 1989, Pope John Paul II appointed him Titular Archbishop of Heraclea and Apostolic Nuncio in Poland. The episcopal ordination donated him John Paul II on 20 October of the same year. St. Peter's Basilica ; Co- consecrators were Archbishop Edward Idris Cassidy and his predecessor as Apostolic Nuncio in Poland, Archbishop Francesco Colasuonno .

As nuncio he was responsible for negotiating and signing the Concordat between the Holy See and Poland in 1993 and for preparing and organizing the visits of John Paul II (1991, 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2002) and Benedict XVI. (2006) in Poland.

On May 8, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him . to the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Gniezno and the Primate of Poland. The inauguration took place on June 26 of the same year.

In August 2013, Kowalczyk called for the introduction of compulsory participation in Roman Catholic religious education for all Polish students as a prerequisite for graduation .

On May 17, 2014 Pope Francis accepted Józef Kowalczyk's request for resignation due to reasons of age.

Józef Kowalczyk is involved in numerous projects in the Holy Land . He is Grand Officer of the Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem .

honors and awards

Józef Kowalczyk received honorary doctorates from the following universities:

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. AAS 69 (1977), p. 301
  2. Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 1987 , Città del Vaticano 1987, p. 1912.
  3. Nomina dell'Arcivescovo di Gniezno e Primate della Polonia e nomina del sucessore , in: Holy See Press Office: Daily Bulletin of May 8, 2010.
  4. olg: Prymas: Katecheza powinna być obowiązkowa. Jest niezbędna w kształceniu ogólnym. In: wyborcza.pl. August 31, 2013, accessed September 2, 2013 .
predecessor Office successor
Henryk Muszyński Archbishop of Gniezno
Wojciech Polak