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Pope meets with Polish premier, names new Polish primate

May 19, 2014

Pope Francis met on May 19 with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, for a conversation that ranged from the canonization of St. John Paul II and the plans for World Youth Day 2016 to current political tensions in eastern Europe.

In a related development, on May 19 the Vatican announced that the Pope has appointed Bishop Wojciech Polak, who is currently serving as an auxiliary in the Gniezno archdiocese, to become Archbishop of Gniezno and Primate of Poland. He will replace Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, who is retiring at the age of 75.

The Archbishop of Gniezno has traditionally held the title of Primate of Poland. That tradition was interrupted for a short time, from 1992 until 2007, when Cardinal Jozef Glemp was Archbishop of Warsaw and Primate of Poland. Cardinal Glemp had inherited the latter title when he was appointed installed as Archbishop of both Gziezno and Warsaw. In 1992, when he approved a restructuring of the Polish hierarchy that separated the two archdioceses, Pope John Paul II stipulated that Cardinal Glemp would remain the Primate until his retirement from active ministry, which occurred in 2007.


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