Saturday, May 11, 2013
ADSS 3.2.591 Notes of the Secretariat of State: News from Poland is rare.
After the last post which was dated July and November 1943, this next document indicates that news from Poland was rare to non-existent. The advance of the Red Army in the summer of 1944 crossed over the 1939 Polish borders and by 21 July a provisional Soviet-style government was proclaimed. The concerns of the Catholic church were not a priority for either the Polish Committee of National Liberation of the Red Army. The Vatican had grown increasingly concerned at the situation in Poland and was anxious to send an Apostolic Visitor to report on the state of the Church in Poland.
Warsaw was liberated on 17 January, Lodz on 18 January and KL Auschwitz on 26 January 1945.
ADSS 3.2.591 Secretariat of State, notes.
Reference: AES 1941/45
Location and date: Vatican, 12.02.1945
Summary statement: News from Poland is rare. It would be necessary to send an Apostolic Visitor. Asks the Apostolic Delegate in Washington to obtain permission for a bishop of Polish origin to enter Poland.
1. The religious situation in Poland has to be the saddest ever. For nearly two years that has been nearly no news; it was rare before, but now there is absolutely nothing.
How many diocese are vacant? It is impossible to know.
In Warsaw, the vicar Capitular, Monsignor Szlagowski, an octogenarian: has he survived the battle of last year? (1) What has happened to Bishop Dymek of Posnan; to Bishop Sapieha of Krakow; to Bishop Twardowski of Lvov? (2)
It seems all the more urgent to send a representative of the Holy See: an Apostolic Visitor.
2. Even before the Conference of the Three (3) comes out with the statement on Poland, it would seem opportune for the Apostolic Delegate in Washington (4) to approach the government there for permission to send a bishop to Poland.
If it were not possible to send an Italian, perhaps an American could go: for example, Bishop Stanislaw Bona, coadjutor of Green Bay (5); or perhaps his brother Thomas, of the Chicago archdiocese; or the auxiliary bishop of Detroit, Bishop Woznicki (6). And the messenger should be able to communicate with the Holy See.
There are 6 vacant diocese in Poland out of 24.
Then there are the non-vacant dioceses but which have no bishop; there are probably three of them: Wloclawek, Lublin and Pinsk.
(1) See ADSS 3.2.589. Antoni Szlagowski (1864-1956), auxiliary bishop of Warsaw, had written to Rome via Orsenigo in Berlin on 20.11.1944. His letter arrived in Rome on 24.02.1945.
(2) Walenty Dymek (1888-1956), auxiliary bishop of Poznan 1929-1945, had been under German house arrest since 1943 in Poznan. Adam Sapieha (1867-1951) archbishop of Krakow 1911-1951. Boleslaw Twardowski (1864-1944), Latin archbishop of Lvov 1923-1944; news of his death had not yet reached Rome.
(3) Yalta Conference 01-11.02.1945.
(4) Amleto Cicognani (1883-1973), Apostolic Delegate to USA 1933-1959.
(5) Stanislaw Bona (1888-1967), coadjutor Green Bay (Wisconsin) 1944-1945, bishop 1945-1967. Thomas Bona was a priest of the archdiocese of Chicago. The brothers were of Polish descent although both were born in Chicago.
(6) Stephen Woznicki (1894-1968), auxiliary bishop of Detroit 1937-1950. Woznicki was of Polish descent, born in Pennsylvania.