Henryk Gulbinowicz

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His Eminence
Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz
Cardinal, Archbishop Emeritus of Wrocław
Archdiocese Wrocław
See Immacolata Concezione di Maria a Grottarossa
Appointed 3 January 1976
Term ended 3 April 2004
Predecessor Bolesław Kominek
Successor Marian Gołębiewski
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Immacolata Concezione di Maria a Grottarossa
Ordination 18 June 1950
by Romualdo Jalbrzykowski
Consecration 8 February 1970
by Stefan Wyszyński
Created Cardinal 25 May 1985
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1923-10-17) 17 October 1923 (age 94)
Šukiškės, Vilnius district
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post
Motto patientia et caritas
Coat of arms Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz's coat of arms

Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz (17 October 1923 in Vilnius, Poland (now Lithuania) is member of the clergy of Białystok, emeritus Archbishop of Wrocław and Cardinal Priest.[1]

Styles of
Henryk Gulbinowicz
Coat of arms of Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

He grew up in Šukiškės near Vilnius, he entered the archdiocesan seminary where he completed his secondary studies, before being transferred to Białystok.[2]

He was ordained by Archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski on 18 June 1950,[1] and was an associate pastor at Szudzialowo, after a year of parish experience, he was sent to Lublin to continue his preparation in theology at the Catholic University of Lublin. He earned a doctorate in moral theology in 1955; from 1956 to 1959 he was university chaplain in Białystok. Following this he taught in the seminary at Warmia, while also working in the diocesan Curia of Olsztyn.[3]

On 12 January 1970, Pope Paul VI appointed him titular Bishop of Acci, and also the apostolic administrator of the Polish section of the Archdiocese of Vilnius (Białystok),[1] the following 8 February he received episcopal consecration from the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. In charge of the Church community, he was responsible for the reorganization of the diaconate, and he also promoted the construction of new parishes. Already in 1944 he furthered the growth of religious life in his area by creating in Białystok the Parish Catechetics Center and reviving the trimestral publication "Wiadomości Kościelne Archidiecezij w Białystoku" (Church news of the archdiocese of Białystok).

On 3 January 1976 he became Archbishop of Wrocław. While guiding this local Church during these years, he created many pastoral centers in this large region; in addition, he founded the biweekly "Nowe Życie" (New Life) and crowned the statue of the Virgin as protector of the famous shrine of Wambierzyce in Lower Silesia, which attracts pilgrimages continually.

A few days before martial law was imposed in 1981, the local Solidarity union branch withdrew from its bank account 80 million Polish zlotys, the equivalent of today's USD 100 million, and deposited the cash with Gulbinowicz, who hid it from the communist regime during Solidarity's delegalisation.

He is the author of a number of works in the area of moral and doctrinal theology, and on the formation of the clergy, on 25 May 1985 Gulbinowicz was created Cardinal by John Paul II. Since 3 April 2004, he has been Archbishop emeritus of Wrocław.

His year of birth had been listed as 1928 (which would have meant he was ordained early), but in early February 2005 it was publicly disclosed that the real date was in 1923; hence he was 5 years older than previously held. His birth records were falsified in 1942 so he wouldn't be sent to a German labor camp,[4] this means that he had reached age 80 in 2003, and so at that time lost the right to participate in a conclave. (In early 2005, Pope John Paul II was in poor health and would die in early April, thus leading to a conclave. It was noted in the secular press that he presumably already reached a private agreement with the Vatican regarding the age issue.)[3]


  1. ^ a b c Catholic Hierarchy
  2. ^ Gazeta Wyborcza, "Kardynał Henryk Gulbinowicz przechodzi na emeryturę", 2003-10-10, [1][permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Biographical Dictionary (1903–2009), [2]
  4. ^ "Vatican Corrects Cardinal's Date of Birth". zenit.org. Retrieved 13 February 2018. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Title last held by
Bolesław Kominek
1974–1976 sede vacante
Archbishop of Wrocław
Succeeded by
Marian Gołębiewski