Franciszek Macharski

infobox cardinalstyles
cardinal name=Franciszek Macharski
dipstyle=His Eminence
offstyle=Your Eminence
See=Kraków |

Franciszek Macharski (born 20 May 1927 in Kraków) is a Polish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the Archbishop of Kraków from 1978, succeeding Karol Wojtyła to the chair of St. Stanisław, until his resignation in 2005. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1979.


He is the youngest of three children born to Leopold, a lawyer, and Zofia (née Peccial) Macharski, and in 1944 received Confirmation. During the war, under German occupation, Macharski was a labourer. Following the liberation in 1945, he entered the metropolitan major seminary of Kraków. At the same time he studied theology at the Jagiellonian University. After finishing his studies in theology and philosophy, he was ordained a priest on 2 April 1950 by then-Archbishop of Kraków, Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha.

For six years, the young priest served as vicar in the parish of Kozy, near Bielsko-Biała. In 1956 he transferred to Switzerland, Fribourg, to continue his theological studies at the local Catholic university where in 1960 he received a doctorate in pastoral theology. Returning to Kraków, he was named spiritual director of the metropolitan seminary and dedicated himself to teaching pastoral theology at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at Kraków. Ten years later, in 1970, he was nominated rector of the same seminary, which is one of the most frequented and important major seminaries in Poland. In 1977 he was nominated canon of the metropolitan chapter of the cathedral of Wawel by then-Archbishop of Kraków, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła.
Pope John Paul II named him Archbishop of Kraków on 29 December 1978. He personally conferred episcopal consecration on 6 January 1979 in St. Peter’s Basilica in the presence of many cardinals, bishops and a multitude of pilgrims, many of whom came from Kraków for the occasion. Bishops Julian Groblicki and Stanisław Smolenski served as co-consecrators.

Macharski is noted as a man of culture, scholar and writer. He has dedicated particular care to promoting priestly and religious vocations, and to the theological and spiritual formation of future priests. Within the Polish episcopate, even prior to his appointment as archbishop, he contributed his thought and experience by participating in the various commissions. During the plenary assembly of the Polish bishops held in Warsaw 6-8 February 1979, he was made president of the commission of lay ministry - the same commission of which the Pope (then Archbishop of Kraków) was president from 1966 to 1978, while Macharski was secretary.

Macharski was President Delegate of the Second Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops (1 October 1999 – 23 October 1999).

He was created Cardinal Priest with the titular church of "San Giovanni a Porta Latina", by John Paul II on 30 June 1979. Macharski had also been at the Pope’s side during such trips abroad to Canada, U.S., France, Germany and Italy.

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. Indeed, Macharski and Marco Cé were the only cardinals elevated in 1979 to retain voting rights the next time there was a conclave. With the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI, the death of Jaime Sin, and the aging of Cé and William Wakefield Baum, Macharski was the "senior cardinal elector" until he passed the maximum age for voting in a conclave on May 20, 2007.

Curial membership:
*Secretariat of State (Second Section)
*Bishops, Clergy, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Catholic Education, Evangelization of Peoples (Congregations)

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