ANDRZEJ DZIELAK, 'IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR CARDINAL KOMINEK, THERE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN JOHN PAUL II'. A RECOLLECTION OF BOLESLAW KOMINEK AND THE ADDRESS OF THE POLISH BISHOPS TO THEIR GERMAN BROTHERS (Polish title below)
(Polish title: Andrzej Dzielak, 'Gdyby nie kardynal Kominek, nie byloby Jana Pawla II'. Wspomnienie o Boleslawie Kominku i Oredziu biskupow polskich do biskupow niemieckich). An account given by Rev. Andrzej Dzielak is one of over a dozen such narratives written down for a scientific conference 'Cardinal Kominek - a forerunner of the Polish-German reconciliation' which was organized by The Memory and Future Institute (Wroclaw, 4th December 2008). These conference documents give us insight into circumstances and consequences of the Polish bishops addressing the German bishops. In some parts, these documents are focused in the narrative of Rev. Andrzej Dzielak, who in 1965 was a clerical student in the Higher Seminary in Wroclaw. For contemporary clerics Cardinal Kominek was an indisputable authority, both moral and intellectual. Every Saturday during a seminary meeting he would share with them his observations on the situation of the Catholic Church in those days in Poland and abroad, and on complex relations with the communist state. Still, the Pastoral Letter of the Polish bishops to the German bishops turned out to be a huge surprise to the Catholic clergy of Wroclaw, especially since at the beginning they did not have the text of the document at their disposal. Rev. Dzielak admits that at the beginning the message conveyed in the Letter was received with reluctance by a great part of the congregation. This was due to the recent war and a successful propaganda of the communist government.However, right from the beginning, clerics had no doubts as to the identity of the author of the groundbreaking document - they knew that it was prepared by a bishop of Wroclaw who was the most knowledgeable person in the Episcopate regarding German issues.
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