Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Warmia

The 1992 Archdiocese raised diocese of Warmia (Latin: Archidioecesis Varmiensis, poln: Archidiecezja Warmińska ) is a Roman Catholic diocese in northeastern Poland, on the territory of the former East Prussia with former Bishopric of Warmia exemten.


The diocese of Warmia was founded in 1243 in Prussia, part of the German Order of country. It was under about three centuries the Archdiocese of Riga. With the decline of the ecclesiastical province Riga by the Reformation (1563 ), the remained Catholic Diocese of Warmia was exemt with a SRI Varmiensis & Sambiensis Principis ( Prince-Bishop of the Holy Roman Empire), no more archbishopric under standing. The few Catholics in Sambien ( Sambia ) also subordinate to the Warmian Prince Bishop. After the first partition of Poland, the Prussian state has hindered not the exercise of ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the few Catholics in the Duchy of Prussia. Canon law, she stood still denHochmeistern of the Teutonic Order in the capacity of "Administrator of Prussia " what a theoretical claim reflected and completely passed by the practical needs of the Catholic chaplaincy.

The bull De salute animarum (1821 ) made ​​Warmia diocesan boundaries along the Russian border congruent with those of the province of East Prussia. At the neighboring province of West Prussia, there was no congruence of provincial and diocesan boundaries. For example, while Elbing, Neuteich and Tolkemit politically belonged to West Prussia, Warmia Catholic side however, the East Prussian circles Morag, Neidenburg and Osterode were Catholic parishes in parts of parts of the Diocese of Culm. The exemption of the diocese of Warmia was confirmed.

Historic seat of Warmia bishops was until 1945 the Cathedral of the Assumption and St. Andrew in women Castle, where Nicolaus Copernicus worked as canon. In 1909 the diocese of Warmia had 327 567 inhabitants and about 2,000,000 Catholic Protestant. In 1940 there were 375 394 Catholics and non-Catholics 2,084,241.

After the changes of the East Prussian borders 1920 ( entry into force of the Versailles Peace) fitted in 1925, the Holy See, the diocese boundaries so that all previously culmischen Catholic parishes in remaining with Germany East Prussia and the newly added Regierungsbezirk West Prussia belonged to the diocesan territory, resigned all had come to Poland parishes from the diocesan territory from. On April 4, 1926, at the time four Catholic parishes Memel retired from the diocesan territory. Since then until 1991 constituted the last 14 local parishes the Memel Free Prelature ( Valletta Prelatura ). Thus, the diocesan territory was from April 1926 to February 1939 actually congruent with the province of East Prussia.

After the Prussian Concordat of 1929, the Diocese of Warmia was with the new dioceses Diocese of Berlin and Free Prelature Schneidemühl 1930 part of the new East German ecclesiastical province under the leadership of newly collected Archdiocese of Wroclaw. Warmia Bishop Maximilian Kaller officiated from June 1939 until his death, as Apostolic Administrator of the Free Prelature of Memel with eight Catholic parishes in the meantime, after the Klaipėda Region was organized back to East Prussia in March 1939.

As of early 1945, many residents fled before the conquest by the Soviet Red Army. Bishop Kaller was evacuated on February 7, by order of the SS. The Vicar-General appointed by Kaller, dean Aloys Marquardt (1891-1972), reported the Polish occupiers from in July 1945, even before the end of the Potsdam Conference. On July 28, the chapter chose the Allensteiner Archpriest John Hanowski to the vicar.

Kaller but returned - Halle an der Saale coming - in the first days of August 1945 in his diocese and took over from Hanowski back into office. He appointed a vicar-general, depending on the Polish ( Franciszek Borowiec ) and the Soviet-occupied Diocesan area (Paul Hoppe; 1900-1988 ). In mid-August urged Primate August Hlond Kaller, the episcopal jurisdiction in the Polish-occupied diocesan territory, but not the office of bishop to resign, which he did. The jurisdiction of the Polish-occupied diocesan territory took over the Apostolic Administrator Teodor Bensch, a native of Prussian Pomerania poles. Right after this waiver Kaller was sold on August 18, 1945 in an Allied occupation zone of Germany. Although the East German ecclesiastical province remained, only in the areas west of the Oder and Neisse jurisdiction lay with the respective diocesan holders, east of it held office from September 1, 1945 Apostolic Administrators.

Situation after the Second World War

After Kallers branch in West Germany appointed Pius XII. him on 26 September 1946 Pontifical Special Representative for the home expelled Germans.

After Kallers death on July 7, 1947 chose now also in Allied occupation zones distributed Varmian canons on July 11, Katherine Arthur ( 1883-1957; 1945 provost of St. Nicholas Church in Elbing ) to the vicar of Warmia, as Sedisvakanz from canonical law provided. The Holy See recognized this choice so that Katherine henceforth Warmia represented on the Fulda Bishops' Conference.

After Kathers death the chapter voted on July 29, 1957 Vicar General Hoppe on the vicar, who had been expelled in 1947 from the Soviet-occupied diocesan territory. Hoppe then took Warmia in the Fulda Bishops' Conference, to Pope Paul VI. on June 28, 1972 ended the see is vacant, and Józef Drzazga appointed the new bishop. It also limits the diocese were newly circumscribed, the Soviet annexation of the diocesan territory belonged to the diocese not. The diocese was also not Suffragan of Breslau, but was now part of the ecclesiastical province of Warsaw. The East German ecclesiastical province was abolished, the German Erzdiözesangebiet Wrocław was the Apostolic Administration of Görlitz, the German diocesan area of Berlin exemt. Hoppe took over in 1972, the newly created role of an " Apostolic visitator for the diocesan Warmia in Germany ", which existed until 2011.


The standing under Polish administration Warmia diocese was founded in 1972 by Pope Paul VI. newly circumscribed with the Apostolic Constitution Episcoporum Poloniae coetus. On March 25, 1992, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese by Pope John Paul II with the Apostolic Constitution Totus Tuus Poloniae Populus.

The bishop resides no longer as before in women Castle, but now in Olsztyn ( Olsztyn ). Suffragan dioceses are also the newly established Diocese of Elbląg ( Elbing ) and the Diocese of Elk ( Lyck ).

Archbishop Wojciech Ziemba is Present; Auxiliary Bishop Jacek Jezierski is. Emeriti are Piszcz Edmund and Julian Andrzej Wojtkowski.

Resolution of Warmia Visitatur

The German Bishops' Conference in 2011 decided to define the tasks of the Visitors for the pastoral care of the displaced persons, repatriates and their descendants until the end of 2016 the responsibility of ( possible ecclesiastically recognized ) clubs. Visitor Monsignor Dr. Lothar Schlegel, who was also responsible for the origin of Danzig and the Free Prelature Schneidemühl since 2010, was due to age entpflichtet October 4, 2011 in retirement from his post. The German Bishops' Conference 2012 has also decided not to re- appoint retired visitators. Since April 2012, the grants of the German Bishops' Conference for the pastoral care of the Ermländern in Germany will no longer be paid.

Already on 17 November 2012, the club has Ermländervertretung Ermlandfamilie founded. The registered and non-profit association has taken over the duties of Visitatur in November 2013. In the pastoral care of the club with significant support from the Warmian Consistory and the other Warmia priests. In future, should accompany the work a eV proposed by Ermlandfamilie and appointed by the German Bishops' Conference Präses. With the issue " Summer 2013 " will include previously issued by the Visitor of quarterly journal " Ermlandbriefe " the responsibility of the Ermlandfamilie eV.