The Catholic Church files in the Ministry of Internal Affairs

The Catholic Church files in the Ministry of Internal Affairs

The files collected by the communist Ministry of Internal Affairs, related to the Catholic Church in Poland (the Collection of the Solidarity Trade Union and Opposition Groups, covering years 1976-1990) are to be found in the Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność”, AKKS 75/2.

Selected examples

Among the files there is a sermon delivered by the Primate of Poland cardinal Józef Glemp on the  I National Congress of Solidarity delegates. The second document is a communication on attempted detention of priest Henryk Jankowski with a list of allegations against him prepared by the communist authorities. Then follows a note by the Pastoral Department of the Warsaw Metropolitan Curia on specific sections of the Primate Aid Commision for the Interned, Detained and Their Families.

The next portion of scans contains exerpts from sermons delivered by priest Jerzy Popiełuszko – the Priest of Polish Workers – during holy masses devoted to Poland, his curriculum vitae, the text of his sermon delivered in the Saint Stanislaw Kostka Church in Warsaw at the Ist anniversary of the Huta Katowice Solidarity flag’s  consecratuon on April the 25th, 1982. These documents are followed by the sermon preached by the Primate of Poland cardinal Józef Glemp during the funeral of priest Jerzy Popiełuszko in the Saint Stanislaw Kostka Church in Warsaw on November the 3rd, 1984.

Another example of a sermon to be found in this collection is the text delivered by priest Felicjan Pluszkiewocz in Święta Lipka on August the 15thm 1982 during the first holy mass of priests Przemysław Nagórski and Witold Radkiewicz.

There is a photograph of Pope John Paul II with his hand-written dedication for the management of the Solidarity Trade Union, its members and all people caring for joint welfare of the independent and fair Poland, dated November the 25th, 1980.

The collection also contains a reprint from the Canadian press („Czas – Polish Times”) published on October the 31st, 1981 on the assault against Pope John Paul II, as well as from the French “Letter from Taizé” with an invitation for the European Youth Meeting in London (planned for 28.12.1981 – 01.01.1982) and information on Polish preparations to this event.

Then follows the Jan Nowak Jeziorański’s text on the assault against Pope John Paul II (reprint from the Paris edition of “Kultura” from May 1983) and a leaflet informing about a march and a holy mass dedeicated to Pope John Paul II on May the 17th, 1981, a few days after the attempt to assasinate the Pope.

The next scans show ephemeralia related to Pope John II – a leaflet issued by the Solidarity Trade Union of KBW FABUD Siemianowice, pointing out to the three significant events from His pontificate, i. e. the election (16.10.1978), the visit to Poland (02-10.06.1979) and the assault (13.05.1981), as well as two leaflets issued at the III anniversary of His pontificate and a leaflet published by the academic community with its priests, containing Christmas wishes extended by Pope John Paul II to students. 

Also presented is a petition form to the Polish episcopacy with a request to support activities aimed at reinstating the Solidarity Trade Union, as well as a declaration form to join the maksymilian Kolbe Apostolic Sobriety Movement, followed by the Litany to Saint Barbara, a patron of undergound Solidarity.

There are also empty forms for the Holy Confession and Communion (for parents and godparents, used for baptism purposes), and to commemorate the act of offering oneself to the Holy Mother.

Our presentation ends with two documents defending the Catholic Church in Poland, though each one in a completely different tone. The first one presents the idealogical encyclical of the National Catholic Association, which belonged to the Confederaion of the Independent Poland. The last document is the appeal of the Commission for the Protection of the Catholic Church, addressed at “all Catholics”, which identifies the source of threat in the activities of the Committee for Social Self-Defense KOR and the Confederaion of the Independent Poland.

Visit us at the Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność”

Those interested in our archival materials are kindly invited to  make use of our holdings in the Archives of the National Commission of NSZZ „Solidarność”, accessible in the Reading Room from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 15:30. Please let us know in advance about your planned visit either by phone +48 (58) 308-43-92 or at .

/Łukasz Grochowski, The Archives of the Solidarity National Commission,
Iwona Flis, Stanislaw Flis Foundation “Pomerania Archives”/