Repression of communist authorities against Rev. Jan Wiącek, a Radom parish priest

Folia Historica Cracoviensia. 2017;23(2):367-404 DOI 10.15633/fhc.2246

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Folia Historica Cracoviensia

ISSN: 0867-8294 (Print); 2391-6702 (Online)

Publisher: The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow

Society/Institution: The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general: History of the arts | History (General) and history of Europe

Country of publisher: Poland

Language of fulltext: German, Polish, Russian, Italian, English

Full-text formats available: PDF

 

AUTHORS

Bogdan Stanaszek (The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 6 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Rev. dr Jan Wiącek (1900–1973) was a cleric of the Sandomierz diocese. Wiącek was a parish priest in Radom for 13 years, and then in Koprzywnica near Sandomierz for another 20 years. He started leading the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Radom-Glinice in the summer of 1941 under the Nazi occupation. After the war ended, he continued to build the local church. In 1949, Bishop Jan Lorek, the ordinary of the Sandomierz diocese, put him in charge of the parish of the Care of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Radom; Wiącek also served as a dean. It was thanks to him that the parish repaid large pre-war debts. He was first troubled by restrictions on the part of state authorities in 1950. Initially these included financial sanctions (disproportionately high taxes). The authorities also wanted to forcibly accommodate additional tenants in the presbytery. Rev. Wiącek was intimidated, harassed by night phone calls and threatened. The authorities insisted that Wiącek should join the movement of the so-called “patriotic priests” who supported the government and criticised the Church hierarchy. When he flatly refused, state authorities demanded that he be removed from his position. To this end, they used the decree of 9 February 1953. Bishop Lorek defended Rev. Wiącek by submitting appeals to central authorities. The dispute lasted eight months; faced with pressure, the bishop finally granted Rev. Wiącek a period of leave. In February 1954 he transferred Wiącek to the parish in Koprzywnica. Despite efforts made after the political thaw of late 1956/early 1957, the state authorities did not allow him to return to Radom.