Pope Francis names new archbishop of Krakow, Poland

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Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski. Credit: Praca własna, Wikipedia (CC 3.0).

Archbishop Marek Jedraszweski has been named the new shepherd of Poland's Krakow archdiocese by Pope Francis, following the retirement of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz.

The appointment was announced by the Vatican on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Archbishop Jedraszewski succeeds the long-serving Cardinal Dziwisz, who was a personal friend and close collaborator of Saint John Paul II.

The archbishop was born in 1949 in Poznan, Poland and was ordained a priest for that archdiocese in 1973. He later continued his studies in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University, earning his doctorate.

In 1997, Jedraszewski was named auxiliary bishop of Poznan. Since 2012, Archbishop Jedraszewski has been serving as archbishop of Lodz as well as vice-president of the Polish Episcopal Conference. He holds several positions in the Council of European Bishops' Conferences.

Cardinal Dziwisz had served as Archbishop of Krakow since 2005. He was born in Raba Wyzna, about 45 miles south of Krakow, in 1939. In 1963 he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow by St. John Paul II, who was then an auxiliary bishop of the city. Soon after Wojtyla was appointed archbishop the following year, then-Fr. Dziwisz became his secretary – a role in which he served until the Pope's death in 2005.

In 1998 he was consecrated a bishop, again by St. John Paul II. He was appointed Archbishop of Krakow shortly after his mentor's death, and remained in that position until his retirement on Thursday at the age of 77.

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