„Intrighi e simonie”. Wokół biskupstwa krakowskiego w 1789 roku.
Summary: The decision taken by the Four Year Sejm on 17 July 1789, confirmed in the law passed on 24 July 1789, to confiscate the estates of the vacant bishopric of Cracow, and to pay all future bishops salaries of 100,000 zlotys p. a., threatened the most serious split between the State and the Roman Catholic Church in the history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The explanations can and should be sought in the cultural tendencies of the age (Josephism, for example) and the international and socioeconomic pressures facing the Commonwealth (reflected in the call to expand the army). The decisions were taken by a parliamentary assembly that deliberated in public, and was subject to being swayed by persuasive orators, such as Wojciech Suchodolski. However, a focus on public discourse cannot explain why the Sejm took some potentially acceptable decisions (such as that concerning the bishoprics) but not others (such as proposals to confiscate monastic property). This article seeks to explain how and why the issue of the bishopric of Cracow came to be presented to the Sejm in the expectation that the Sejm would “reduce” the bishopric to 100,000 zlotys p. a. It does so by a close focus on the actions and motivations of the leading players, as reflected in their own correspondence, and that of well–informed contemporary observers. Beginning with the death of Bishop Kajetan Sołtyk on 29/30 July 1788, the article covers the ambitions of Primate Michał Jerzy Poniatowski to retain the administration of Cracow alongside his tenure of the archbishopric of Gniezno, and the aspirations of other episcopal hopefuls, such as Adam Naruszewicz, Ignacy Krasicki, Ignacy Massalski, Krzysztof Hilary Szembek, Józef Kossakowski and Feliks Turski, as well as the interests of the Holy See, the Polish king, the clique led by Hetman Franciszek Ksawery Branicki, and Prussian and Russian diplomats and their respective courts. It follows the jockeying for position among the interested parties in connection with other political issues, explains the failure of King Stanisław Augustus to cut a deal with King Frederick William II, and throws some light on the deteriorating relationship between Stanisław Augustus and the Russian Ambassador, Otto Magnus von Stackelberg. The article concludes that the king and primate were indeed responsible for summoning Krasicki to Warsaw for negotiations which precipitated the denouement in the Sejm. It also advances evidence that the outcome satisfied the Prussian envoy Girolamo Lucchesini, and that he played a vital role in procuring the final result of what the papal nuncio termed “intrigues and simonies”.
|Title:||„Intrighi e simonie”. Wokół biskupstwa krakowskiego w 1789 roku|
|Additional information:||Polish publication. Abstract given in English.|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES|
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