Tygodnik Powszechny

"Tygodnik Powszechny" (translates as ‘Universal Weekly’), is a Roman Catholic weekly magazine, focusing on social and cultural issues. It is published in Poland in Polish. It was established by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha in 1945. Its chief editor is Father Adam Boniecki.

*Frequency – weekly magazine
*Country – Poland
*Editor – Tygodnik Powszechny sp. z o.o.
*Type of periodical – Roman Catholic socially-cultural weekly magazine
*First edition – 24 March 1945
*Chief editor – Father Adam Boniecki
*Average edition – 42 thousand copies
*Size – A3
*Number of pages – 16
*ISSN – 0041-4808


The first edition of "Tygodnik Powszechny" appeared on 24 March 1945. Initially the editorial staff consisted of four people: a priest, Jan Piwowarczyk; Jerzy Turowicz (a chief editor for many years), Konstanty Turowski and Maria Czapska. Later they were joined by Zofia Starowieyska – Morstinowa, Stefan Kisielewski, Leopold Tyrmand, Antoni Gołubiew, Paweł Jasienica (until he was arrested by the Communists in 1948), Stanisław Stomma, Hanna Malewska and Józefa Golmont – Hennelowa.

In 1953 the newspaper was closed because it refused to print Stalin’s obituary. The paper resumed publication in December 1956. From 1953 to 1956 it was published as "Tygodnik Paxowski" instead of "Tygodnik Powszechny". The same format was used and the continuity of numbering; however, it was not edited by the owners.

The original editors from Wiślna were able to resume control of "Tygodnik Powszechny" in 1956. Columnists included Karol Wojtyła, Władysław Bartoszewski, Jerzy Zawieyski, Jacek Woźniakowski, Stefan Wilkanowicz, Leszek Kołakowski, Stanisław Lem, Zbigniew Herbert, Tadeusz Kudliński, Czesław Zgorzelski. The magazine was then considered to be the one and independent voice of the upper class.Fact|date=July 2008 It was affiliated with the officially recognized political party Znak, sympathetic to Catholicism.

When Znak helped establish the Solidarity Movement, one of the Cracow's edition writers, Father Józef Tischner became its chaplain). After Karol Wojtyła was elected pope, "Tygodnik Powszechny" became the most popular vehicle for John Paul II’s teachings in Poland. For a long time it was the only magazine in the world which was able to publish an interview with the new Pope [3 August 1980] [Later, the Italian magazine "Il tempo" was given this opportunity]

Czesław Miłosz published his poems in "Tygodnik Powszechny" for many years. In 1945 he prepared for Jerzy Turowicz a hand-written volume of poems called “Wiersze pół-perskie”. It was the only magazine in which Miłosz published his poems after receiving the Nobel Prize. After martial law was declared, the magazine suspended its publication for several months. Since 1982, "Tygodnik Powszechny" has been published continuously.

In the 1980s, the magazine became an informal tool of Polish democratic opposition and sometimes was regarded as the only legal oppositional magazine in the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL). In 1987, it published a controversial essay, “The Poor Poles Look at the ghetto” (“Biedni Polacy patrzą na getto”) by Jan Błoński.

Since the nineties, a part of church hierarchy was reluctant to "Tygodnik Powszechny" and criticized too liberal, in their opinion, shape of the magazine (it reflects almost absent parochial distribution of the magazine).

In 1998, Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz produced a movie 'Ordinary Kindness' (Zwyczajna dobroć), telling the story of editor Jerzy Turowicz.

In 1999, after Jerzy Turowicz’s death, Father Adam Boniecki became the chief editor.

In April 2007, the ITI Group purchased 49 per cent of the magazine.

Since 5 December 2007 "Tygodnik Powszechny" has been published in a smaller size. The format and editorial staff was also changed.


"Tygodnik Powszechny" has tried to reconcile the values of liberalism with the principles of faith. It has presented an open ecumenical view of Polish Catholicism. Its aim was a dialogue. Representatives of ideas which are not strictly Catholic are invited to take part in printed debates. According to the analysis by Jarosław Gowin, presented in the book “Church in the Times of Freedom” (“Kościół w czasach wolności”), "Tygodnik Powszechny" is one of the main representatives of ‘open’ Catholicism, inspired by Catholic personalism.huh

Sergiusz Kowalski, who was analyzing the history of the journal from 1993 to 1995, wrote: “The publicists of "Tygodnik Powszechny" appreciate moderation, openness, readiness to dialogue and compromise” looking for “modus vivendi between liberal democracy and Church, between modernity and tradition” (Kowalski 1997: 148)


In the time of the People’s Republic of Poland (PRL), "Tygodnik Powszechny" was considered as the magazine which, in some extent (determined by the censorship), could contain views critical to the communist authorities. After 1989, the magazine became the representative of one option in a dialogue within the Church, called “open Catholicism”, which caused a wave of criticism from people of other circles. After 1989, "Tygodnik Powszechny" was also assigned to represent only one political circle (the Democratic Union, later transformed into the Freedom Union) – because many people involved in the magazine participated in political changes (Józefa Hennelowa, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Krzysztof Kozłowski). The critics of this Cracow weekly magazine often quote the letter written by John Paul II [ During tens years of friendship between John Paul II and Jerzy Turowicz, polemics about the Church were sometimes conducted. “Criticism may be needed and constructive for the Church especially when it comes from the heart” – wrote John Paul II in one of his letters directed to the chief editor of "Tygodnik Powszechny". One of the most important parts of the letter sounds: “(…) The year 1989 brought Poland deep changes connected with the downfall of the communist system. Resumption of independence paradoxically coincided with an increased assault of secular left-wing parties and liberal groups directed against the Church, the Episcopate as well as against the Pope. I felt it especially in the context of my last visit to Poland in 1991. The point was to erase from the memory of citizens what was the role of the Church in the nation within the space of the last years. Accusations and slanders about clericalism were multiplying as well as those about the alleged intention of the Church to rule Poland and about hindering political emancipation in the Polish society. Forgive me, if I say that those influences were also visible in "Tygodnik Powszechny". In those difficult times, unfortunately the Church did not find in it any support and defense which in a way he could have expected: “it did not feel cherished enough” – like I once said (…)” ] , which they received on 15 May 1995 on the occasion of the magazine’s 50th anniversary.

Opponents of "Tygodnik Powszechny" accuse the magazine of deciding on liberal trend and in some cases even left-wing Catholicism. Jerzy Robert Nowak, the publicist who has connections with Radio Maryja, described the alleged “betrayal of ideals” of John Paul II and the Church committed by "Tygodnik Powszechny" in his book Obłudnik Powszechny (2002).

Associated publications

*Books in Tygodnik (Książki w Tygodniku)
*Needle’s Eye (Ucho Igielne)
*Civic Matters (Rzecz Obywatelska)
*History (Historia w Tygodniku)
*Special Supplements (Dodatki specjalne)
*New Eastern Europe (Nowa Europa Wschodnia)
*Middle Europe (Europa Środka)
*Cyberweekly (Cybertygodnik)
*EU for You (Unia dla Ciebie)
*Apocrypha (Apokryf)
*Counterpoint (Kontrapunkt)
*Parish (Parafia)


*Władysław Bartoszewski (till December 2007)



Polish website: http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tygodnik_Powszechny

External links

* [http://tygodnik.onet.pl Official website]
* [http://tygodnik.onet.pl/3298,1314917,dzial.html Information in English]

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