Stanisław Dziwisz (Polish pronunciation: [staˈɲiswav
ˈdʑivʲiʂ]; born 27 April 1939) is a Polish prelate of the Roman
Catholic Church. He served as
Archbishop of Kraków
Archbishop of Kraków from 2005 until
2016. He was created a cardinal in 2006. He was a long-time and
influential aide to Pope John Paul II, a friend of Pope Benedict XVI,
and an ardent supporter of John Paul's eventual beatification.
1 Early life, ordination, and priesthood
2 Death of John Paul II
3 Archbishop of Krakow and cardinal
4 Maciel and Hans Groer involvement
7 Further reading
8 External links
Early life, ordination, and priesthood
Dziwisz was born in the village of
Raba Wyżna to Stanisław Dziwisz,
a railroad worker, and his wife, Zofia Bielarczyk. The fifth of
seven children, he has four brothers and two sisters. During World
War II, the family hid a Jewish man in their house. When the
younger Stanisław was only nine, his father died after being struck
by a train while crossing the railroad tracks. He attended the
classical Secondary School (Liceum) in Nowy Targ, passing the exam of
maturity in 1957.
Dziwisz then entered the Major
Seminary of Kraków, where he completed
his studies in philosophy and theology. On 23 June 1963, he was
ordained to the priesthood for the
Archdiocese of Kraków
Archdiocese of Kraków by its
auxiliary bishop, Bishop Karol Wojtyła. His first assignment was
as a curate at a parish in Maków Podhalański, where he served for
two years. He then continued his studies at the Faculty of Theology
of Kraków, specialising in liturgy and earning a Licentiate of Sacred
Theology in 1967. In October 1966, he was appointed by Archbishop
Wojtyła, who had been elevated to Archbishop of Kraków, to serve as
his personal secretary. Dziwisz remained in this position until
Wojtyła's death in 2005.
In addition to his duties as personal secretary, Dziwisz served as
professor of liturgy at the Superior Catechetical Institute in
Kraków, editor of the official newspaper of the archdiocesan curia,
member and secretary of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission, and a
member of the Presbyteral Council. He also participated in the work
of the Committee for the Holy Year (1974–1975) and of the Pastoral
Synod of Kraków (1972–1978).
Dziwisz accompanied Wojtyła to the papal conclave of August 1978,
which elected of Pope John Paul I. Following the death of John Paul
I thirty-three days later, he and Wojtyła returned for the next
conclave, which elected Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II. Dziwisz was
appointed his principal private secretary and served in that capacity
throughout John Paul's 27-year pontificate.
In 1981 he earned a Doctor of Sacred
Theology degree from the Faculty
Theology of Kraków, with a thesis entitled "The Cult of Saint
Stanislaus, Bishop of Kraków, until the Council of Trent".
John Paul and Dziwisz were said to have a father-son like
relationship. Dziwisz slept in a bedroom next to that of John Paul's,
was always near him during Mass, and was with him almost every waking
moment. During John Paul's papacy Dziwisz became one of the most
influential voices in the Vatican.
Dziwisz was appointed titular bishop of San Leone and joint head of
Prefecture of the Papal Household
Prefecture of the Papal Household on 7 February 1998. He was
consecrated a bishop on 19 March of that year, the principal
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II and the co-consecrators Cardinal
Secretary of State
Angelo Cardinal Sodano
Angelo Cardinal Sodano and the then
Archbishop of Kraków
Archbishop of Kraków Franciszek Cardinal Macharski. John
Paul II elevated Dziwisz to the rank of archbishop on 29 September
2003, still having the titular see of San Leone.
In 2004, Dziwisz appeared to be the source of a quote from John Paul
endorsing the film The Passion of the Christ, which required
clarification from Vatican officials because the pope never makes such
Death of John Paul II
Cardinal Dziwisz kisses the casket of John Paul II at the
beatification Mass on 1 May 2011.
As the Vatican denied the pope's health was getting worse, the Roman
newspaper Il Messaggero reported that Dziwisz had told a priest, "Pray
for the pope, because he's getting worse." On 31 March 2005
Archbishop Dziwisz administered the
Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick to him.
Before the death of John Paul II, Dziwisz was reported to have helped
him write a message to his staff not to grieve, that he (John Paul)
was happy and that they should be too. In 2013,
Dziwisz said that
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II had not resigned because of his
failing health because he believed "you cannot come down from the
When John Paul died on 2 April 2005, Archbishop Dziwisz was at his
bedside. According to rules created by John Paul, Dziwisz packed his
belongings and vacated the papal apartments before they were sealed by
the Camerlengo. During the Requiem Mass for John Paul on 8 April,
Archbishop Dziwisz had the honour of placing a white silk veil over
the face of the Pope before the body was lowered into three separate
caskets. It was the symbolic last act of service of Archbishop Dziwisz
as papal secretary for John Paul. He was one of the few people
mentioned in the will of Pope John Paul II, who wrote: "and I thank
him for his help and collaboration, so understanding for so many
Archbishop of Krakow and cardinal
On 3 June 2005 Benedict XVI appointed Dziwisz as successor to Cardinal
Macharski as Archbishop of Kraków.
At the consistory of 24 March 2006 Archbishop Dziwisz was raised to
the cardinalate, becoming
Cardinal-Priest of S. Mariae de Populo.
Dziwisz had also been mentioned as the possible secret cardinal in
pectore appointed by John Paul II in 2003, but the pope revealed no
such appointment before his death. Dziwisz is eligible to
participate in papal conclaves until his 80th birthday in 2019.
In May 2006 Pope Benedict named Cardinal Dziwisz to be a member of the
Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Council for
Cardinal Dziwisz, 2010
On 26 May 2010, Cardinal Dziwisz was awarded the Cardinal Bea
Interfaith Award of the Anti-Defamation League. Abraham Foxman, its
President, said: "Cardinal Dziwisz is a valued friend to the Jewish
people and someone I know I can trust and turn to in moments of
tension or controversy." Cardinal Dziwisz replied:
As the Bishop of Krakow, I would like to assure all of you that the
Catholic Church in
Poland wants to follow the example of Pope John
Paul II, and courageously uncover and reject everything which makes
the life of the Polish Catholics depart from the Gospel. For this
reason, we note with shame that despite the unambiguous teachings of
recent Popes on the appropriate attitudes of Catholics to Jews, many
among us have not been able to overcome prejudices, inveterate
resentments and harmful stereotypes.
In 2012 Cardinal Dziwisz, as part of a broader trip, visited parishes
with a significant Polish presence in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese
of Newark, New Jersey, in the United States.
Cardinal Dziwisz participated in the papal conclave in March 2013,
where he was thought to have an outside chance of election[citation
needed] though he was not mentioned in the press as a likely
On 8 December 2016,
Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Dziwisz'
resignation as Archbishop of Krakow, and named Marek Jędraszewski,
Archbishop of Łódź, to succeed him.
Maciel and Hans Groer involvement
Dziwisz supported Roman Catholic priest
Marcial Maciel Degollado of
Mexico, the founder of the
Legion of Christ
Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi
movement. Author Jason Berry wrote Maciel spent years cultivating
Vatican support by funneling money to the Vatican. Under Maciel, the
Legion of Christ
Legion of Christ steered streams of money through Dziwisz to the pope
and the Vatican designated for use in relation to the pope's private
Masses in the Apostolic Palace. Late in Maciel's life, he was
revealed to have abused boys and fathered up to six children, two of
whom he allegedly abused, with at least two women.
Dziwisz was instrumental in blocking an investigation into allegations
of child abuse against the late Benedictine Cardinal of Vienna Hans
Hermann Groer. Groer, who died in 2003, headed the Vienna archdiocese
and presided over the influential Austrian episcopal conference.
Groer, who always denied wrongdoing, was praised by Pope John Paul II
as a faithful servant. The Roman Catholic bishops of Austria,
however, were of a different opinion. On the occasion of their ad
limina visit to Rome in 1998, the Austrian bishops informed the Pope
that they, as a college of bishops, had reached moral certainty that
the allegations against Cardinal Groer had a basis in truth.
A Life with Karol, Doubleday, 2008. ISBN 978-0-385-52374-5
^ In isolation, Stanisław is pronounced [staˈɲiswaf].
^ Israely, Jeff (10 June 2002). "The Man Behind the Pope". Time
^ Pietrzak, Michał (2011). Kronika Parafii
Raba Wyżna T. I,
1835–1993. Kraków: Raba Wyżna. pp. 245–248.
^ a b c d e Dziwisz, Stanislaw (2008). A Life With Karol: My
Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope. Doubleday.
^ a b c d "DZIWISZ, Stanisław". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman
^ "Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz". The Hierarchy of the Catholic
^ a b "KS. KARDYNAŁ STANISŁAW DZIWISZ". Roman Catholic Archdiocese
^ "DZIWISZ Card. Stanisław". Holy See.
^ Waldmeir, John (2009). Cathedrals of Bone: The Role of the Body in
Contemporary Catholic Literature. Fordham University Press.
p. 147. ISBN 9780823230624. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "Vatican issues official statement on The Passion of the Christ".
Catholic News Agency. 22 January 2004. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
^ "Fresh fears over Pope's health". News 24. 22 March 2005. Retrieved
30 August 2017.
^ Pullella, Philip (11 February 2013). "Pope's sudden resignation
sends shockwaves through Church". Reuters. Retrieved 29 August
^ "Testament of the Holy Father John Paul II". The Holy See. Retrieved
8 December 2013.
^ Boudreaux, Richard (7 April 2005). "Mystery Cardinal Will Never Be
Able to Join Peers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 November
^ "ADL Honors Polish Catholic Leader With Cardinal Bea Interfaith
Award" (Press release). Anti-Defamation League. 27 May 2010. Retrieved
29 August 2017.
^ McNab, Matthew (6 July 2012). "Polish Cardinal Dziwisz celebrates
Mass in Bayonne, gives church a relic of Pope John Paul II". NJ.com.
Retrieved 9 December 2016.
Pope Francis names new Archbishop for Krakow". Vatican Radio. 8
December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
^ Catholic World News, 1 August 2004. Retrieved: 2016-04-09.
Michał Pietrzak (oprac.), Kronika Parafii
Raba Wyżna T. I,
1835–1993, Kraków –
Raba Wyżna 2011.
T. Chmura, Z Raby Wyżnej przez Kraków na Watykan. Curriculum Vitae
księdza biskupa Stanisława Dziwisza, [w:] „Analecta
Cracoviesnia” XXX – XXXI 1998 – 1999, s. 9 –
Gmina Raba Wyżna, zebrał i oprac. E. Siarka, Kraków –
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stanisław Dziwisz.
"Dziwisz Card. Stanisław".
Holy See Press Office. Archived from the
original on 4 September 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
Archdiocese of Krakow
Catholic Hierarchy Profile of Stanisław Dziwisz
Catholic Church titles
Personal Papal secretary
16 October 1978 – 2 April 2005
Adjunct Prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household
7 February 1998 – 3 June 2005
Jacques Maurice Faivre
— TITULAR —
Archbishop of San Leone
29 September 2003 – 3 June 2005
Víctor Manuel Ochoa Cadavid
Archbishop of Kraków
3 June 2005 – 8 December 2016
Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria del Popolo
24 March 2006 – present
Living cardinals of the Catholic Church
By order of precedence in the
College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals under Pope Francis
Ortega y Alamino
Fernandes de Araújo
Macário do Nascimento Clemente
Monteiro de Castro
Abril y Castelló
Braz de Aviz
Cardinals ineligible to participate in a papal conclave are displayed
ISNI: 0000 0001 1572 2901
BNF: cb13757683p (data)