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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 09.02.2005]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


GULBINOWICZ Card. Henryk Roman

© Gregorz Galazka



Cardinal Henryk Roman Gulbinowicz, member of the clergy of Białystok, Archbishop emeritus of Wrocław (Poland), was born on 17 October 1923 in Sukiškės, in the Archdiocese of Vilnius. He entered the archdiocesan seminary where he completed his secondary studies, before being transferred to Białystok.

He was ordained by Archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski on 18 June 1950, and was an associate pastor at Szudzialowo. After a year of parish experience, he was sent to Lublin to continue his preparation in theology at the Catholic University of Lublin. He earned a doctorate in moral theology in 1955; from 1956 to 1959 he was university chaplain in Białystok. Following this he taught in the seminary at Warmia, while also working in the diocesan Curia of Olsztyn.

On 12 January 1970, Pope Paul VI appointed him titular Bishop of Acci, and also the apostolic administrator of the Polish section of the Archdiocese of Vilnius (Białystok). The following 8 February he received episcopal ordination from the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. In charge of the Church community, he was responsible for the reorganization of the diaconate, and he also promoted the construction of new parishes. Already in 1944 he furthered the growth of religious life in his area by creating in Białystok the Parish Catechetics Center and reviving the trimestral publication "Wiadomości Kościelne Archidiecezji w Białystoku" (Church news of the archdiocese of Białystok).

On 3 January 1976 he became Archbishop of Wrocław (Breslavia). While guiding this local Church during these years, he created many pastoral centers in this large region. In addition, he founded the biweekly "Nowe Życie" (New Life) and crowned the statue of the Virgin as protector of the famous shrine of Wambierzyce in Silesia, which attracts pilgrimages continually.

He is the author of a number of works in the area of moral and doctrinal theology, and on the formation of the clergy.

Archbishop emeritus of Wrocław, 3 April 2004.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the cCnsistory of 25 May 1985, of the Title of Immacolata Concezione di Maria a Grottarossa (Immaculate Conception of Mary at Grottarossa). 

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