Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ADSS 3.2.505 Notes of the Secretariat of State on the Church in Poland

By May 1943 the Catholic Church in Poland was in a desperate situation.  Twenty-two of the twenty-five dioceses were without their bishops, although some did have auxiliary bishops still in residence. This wholesale destruction of Polish Catholicism by the German occupation forces is, I believe, a reason for attempting to understand Polish responses to the murder of the Jews, other than the long history of Polish antisemitism.  Many Catholics in Poland believed it was simply too dangerous to reach out to the Jews; their own situation was fraught with peril, even if it was not deadly.

The document compliments much of the substance of the reports sent to Rome by Stanislaw Adamski and contained in ADSS 3.2.413 and ADSS 3.2.472.  

ADSS 3.2.505 Notes of the Secretariat of State

Reference: AES 3170/43

Location and date: Vatican, 19.05.1943

Summary statement: Notes on the Polish bishops.  Measures taken for the vacant sees.

Language: Italian


Czestochowa.  With the death of the Auxiliary bishop of Czestochowa (1) there are now twenty-two fewer Polish bishops (still active) than normal.  In fact:

Since the beginning of the war:

Five dead: His Excellency, Monsignor Gall (2), Auxiliary of Chemlno (3), Auxiliary of Luceoria (Lutsk) (4), Bishop (5) and Auxiliary of Plock (6), Auxilliary of Czestochowa;

Two in Concentration Camps: Auxiliaries of Wloclawek (7) and Lublin (8);

One deported: Archbishop of Vilna (9);

Five in exile: Bishop of Lublin (10), Bishop (11) and Auxiliary of Lodz (12), Bishop (13) and Auxiliary of Katowice (14);

Three outside of Poland: Cardinal Hlond, Bishop of Wloclawek (15), Bishop of Chelmno (16);

Two outside their dioceses: Bishop (17) and Auxiliary of Pinsk (18);

Sees vacant since the beginning of the war: Warsaw, Siedlce, Tarnow and Sandomierz (19).

Poor Poland!

As the Bishop of Czestochowa is not very old (63 years) (20) it could be a prudent measure to start thinking now of thinking of appointing a new auxiliary, who could be named in the event of a vacancy where an Apostolic Administrator is needed.

The diocese of Czestochowa is a suffragan of Krakow.  If necessary the matter could be submitted to the Holy Father and, if he approves, instruct His Excellency, Archbishop Sapieha to conduct the practices (usually the responsibility of the Pontifical Representative) for the appointment of an auxiliary for Czestochowa:  namely that the bishop consider any proposals, put together a list of suitable candidates (under the secrecy mandated by the Holy Office) according to the usual manner and then send that completed information here.

Note of Domenico Tardini:
22.05.1943.  Audience with His Eminence [Maglione]:  All good.

(1) Antoni Zimniak d 26.01.1943 (1878-1943), auxiliary bishop 1936-1943.

(2) Stanislaw Gall d 12.09.1942 (1865-1942), auxiliary bishop 1918-1942.

(3) Constantine Dominik d 07.03.1942 (1870-1942), auxiliary bishop 1928-1942; died while under house arrest.

(4) Stefan Walcyzkiewicz d ? 1940 (1886-1940), auxiliary bishop 1928-1940; died 12.05.1940 after sustained interrogation by the Soviet forces.

(5) Antoni Nowowiejski d 28.03.1941 (1858-1941), bishop 1908-1941; arrested by the Gestapo in 1940; died in KL Soldau; beatified 1999.

(6) Leon Wetmanski d 10.10.1941 (1886-1941), auxiliary bishop 1927-1941; arrested March 1941 and died in KL Soldau.

(7) Michael Kozal (1893-1943), auxiliary bishop 1939-1943; died KL Dachua; beatified 1987.
(8) Vladislaw Goral (1898-1944), auxiliary bishop 1938-1944; died in KL Sachsenhausen. DOD is not known with accuracy. Beatified 1999.

(9) Romuald Jalbrzykowski (1876-1955), archbishop 1926-1955. Spent 1942-44 in the Marianist Monastery, Mariampol.

(10) Marian Fulman (1866-1945), bishop 1918-1945; imprisoned in KL Sachsenhausen 1939-40 and KL Nowy Sasz 1940-45.

(11) Wlodzimierz Jasinski (1873-1965), bishop 1934-1946. Expelled from the diocese for the duration of the war. Lived in the Franciscan Friary in Biecz.

(12) Kasimiriz Tomczak (1883-1967), auxiliary bishop 1927-1967. Expelled from the diocese along with Jasinski for the duration of the war.

(13) Stanislaw Adamski (1875-1967), bishop 1930-1967.  Expelled from his diocese in February 1941, he spent the remainder of the war in Warsaw.

(14) Juliusz Bieniek (1895-1978), auxiliary bishop 1937-1978. Expelled from his diocese in February 1941, he spent the remainder of the war in Krakow.

(15) Karol Radonski (1883-1951), bishop 1929-1951.  Left his diocese at the beginning of the war and lived in London for the duration.  He was very critical of the lack of a public papal condemnation of war crimes against Poland.

(16) Stanislaw Okoniewski (1870-1964), bishop 1926-1944. Left his diocese at the beginning of the war and lived in Portugal until his death.

(17) Kasimir Bukraba (1885-1946), bishop 1932-1946. Expelled from Pinsk by the Soviets, he moved first to Lvov in 1939, then Warsaw 1942 and finally Lodz in 1944. He died in Lodz.

(18) Karol Niemira (1883-1965), auxiliary bishop 1933-1946. Deported by the Soviets to Warsaw in 1939.  All attempts to return to Pinsk were refused by the Germans.  He died in exile in Warsaw.

(19) Warsaw was vacant from 1938-1946; Siedlce 1939-1946; Tarnow 1939-1946; Sandomierz 1934-1946.

(20) Teodoro Kubina (1880-1951), bishop 1925-1951.  Two auxiliary bishops were appointed in 1944 – Stefan Barela (1916-1984) and Stanislaw Czajka (1897-1965).

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