Jan Piwowarczyk 1889-1959

He was born on 29 January 1889 to a peasant family in the village of Brzeźnica near Wadowice. He graduated in theology from the Jagiellonian University. In 1911, he was ordained. He was a vicar at the Podgórze parish and at St. Stephen’s parish, a missionary at St. Mary’s parish and a catechist. In 1922, he was employed at the Kraków daily Głos Narodu [“The Nation’s Voice”], in 1924 he became its deputy editor-in-chief, and in 1936 its editor-in-chief. He was active in the Polish Christian Democratic Party, Christian Trade Unions and the Social Council affiliated with the Primate of Poland. He taught Christian social sciences at the Faculty of Theology of the Jagiellonian University (1928–1933). In 1933, he obtained a doctorate in theology for his dissertation Kryzys społeczno-gospodarczy w świetle katolickich zasad [“Socio-economic crisis in the light of Catholic principles”]. During World War II, he was the Vice-Chancellor of the Kraków Seminary (1939–1944). In 1941, he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned at the Montelupich prison in Kraków. He was released in 1942 thanks to the efforts made by Archbishop Adam Sapieha. After the war, he started publishing Tygodnik Powszechny [“Catholic Weekly”] together with Jerzy Turowicz and was its first editor-in-chief. He left the newspaper in 1951 as a result of the political charges levelled against him by the communist Security Service. He settled under police supervision in Zebrzydowice where he began to write his life’s work Katolicka etyka społeczna [“Catholic social ethics”], which was published in its unabridged version in London after his death. Towards the end of his life, he was made the prelate-scholastic of the Kraków Chapter. He died on 29 December 1953 in Krakow. He left an impressive number of writings: over five thousand articles, many dissertations, brochures and books. Most important works: Socjalizm i chrześcijaństwo [“Socialism and Christianity”], Współczesne kierunki społeczne (Liberalizm ekonomiczny – socjalizm – kierunek chrześcijańsko-społeczny) [“Contemporary social directions (Economic liberalism – socialism – Christian and social direction)”], Kryzys społeczno-gospodarczy w świetle katolickich zasad [“Socio-economic crisis in the light of Catholic principles”], Korporacjonizm i jego problematyka [“Corporatism and related issues”], Katolicyzm a reforma rolna [“Catholicism and the land reform”], Katolicka etyka społeczna [“Catholic social ethics”].


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