That which is indestructible in me endures!
John Paul II, Roman Triptych

an idea

Humanity was cruelly affected by the course of history in the 20th century. In the 1970s, the world seemed permanently divided militarily and ideologically. Nothing heralded the collapse of the communist system. It was in such a reality that the Pope from Poland began his pontificate, having had years of experience of living in the communist system, where human rights were violated and surveillance and persecution restricted individual freedom.

It is in 1946 that the name Karol Wojtyła first appears in the files of the security services. As Bishop of Krakow, he was constantly watched by functionaries of the communist security apparatus. Several dozen secret collaborators were active in Bishop Karol Wojtyła's entourage. They included employees of the curia, priests from the diocese of Krakow and lay people. Wiretaps were placed, for instance, in flats on Kanonicza Street, Franciszkańska Street and in the Curia, as well as in the editorial office of "Tygodnik Powszechny". The Metropolitan of Krakow was aware of the actions being carried out against him, which is why he conducted many of his conversations while walking.

In his administrative work, Bishop Karol Wojtyła faced many difficulties piled up by party decision-makers. In the 1960s, favourable opinions for his applications and petitions disappear from official documents. Wojtyla begins to be recognised as an opponent more dangerous to the communist order than Primate Stefan Wyszynski. Despite these experiences, as bishop of the place he is increasingly recognised by Christians as an advocate of dialogue, reconciliation and the building of the subjectivity of society.

The scale of the surveillance and forms of oppression against the Catholic Church, as well as Bishop Wojtyła's working methods affirming man and his freedom, will be discussed at the forthcoming conference 'Karol Wojtyła in the face of challenges in the People's Republic of Poland'.

As Archbishop of Krakow, he made many efforts to ensure that the totalitarian system did not dominate human consciences. His experiences in Krakow prepared him to proclaim to the whole world the courageous call: "Do not be afraid" and set the course of his pontificate as an advocate of the weakest and defender of human rights.

In the international arena, he pleaded for the rights of peoples and ethnic groups affected by armed conflict or deprived of sovereignty to peace and respect for human rights, including the restoration of religious freedom in Central and Eastern Europe. At the United Nations in 1979, he was the first to say that any proposal for social development must be based on the dignity of the person, because it is the foundation of peace and justice.

The changes he initiated also had their consequences on religious and cultural grounds. He was the first Pope to speak to Muslims and to cross the gates of the synagogue, marking a new era in the Catholic Church's relations with Jews and Judaism. He was also the first successor of St Peter to enter a pagoda and an evangelical temple. The World Youth Day, which he initiated, became known as a phenomenon that has been continued by successive popes - Benedict XVI and Francis.

In 2000, his extraordinary gesture of apology for the sins of the past was intended to lead to reconciliation and unity. He saw his role as serving the individual as well as the international community, pointing out in his speeches the values on which the moral and social order of the human community should be based.

By his attitude of faith and steadfastness in doing good, he mobilised politicians, dynamised the actions of the laity in the Church and inspired universal solidarity. He showed that history cannot "swim against the current of conscience".

To defend the rights of peoples, to be able to have inter-religious dialogue, to respect the person, to help people and to cooperate with the laity, he learned from the experience of his own country - from its culture, its history, its traditions. We would like the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the pontificate to focus our reflections on the merits of John Paul II, which we are still rediscovering.

Główne wydarzenia

18 October 2023 - the legacy of the pontificate will be discussed at the international conference. Pope to the World. The 45th anniversary of the pontificate of John Paul II in Mt 5,14 | Museum of John Paul II and Primate Wyszynski.

Konferencja pt. Karol Wojtyła wobec wyzwań w PRL, 18 maja 2023 r.

Najważniejsze wypowiedzi, podsumowanie konferencji

Panel 1Kościół w rzeczywistości PRL

Panel 2Karola Wojtyły zmagania z komunistyczną dyktaturą

Panel 3Abp Karol Wojtyła promotor podmiotowości społeczeństwa

Panel 4Dyskusja wokół książki Andrzeja Grajewskiego „Żarliwy antykomunista. Pontyfikat Jana Pawła II w dokumentach KGB Ukraińskiej Socjalistycznej Republiki Sowieckiej (1978-1997)”


media patrons

  • Telewizja Polska
  • Gość Niedzielny
  • Polskie Radio
  • Wszystko co najważniejsze


  • Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego w ramach zadania Organizacja cyklu dwóch konferencji: ogólnopolskiej pt. „Karol Wojtyła Polsce” i międzynarodowej pt. „Papież światu” wraz z wydarzeniami towarzyszącymi”

  • Projekt dofinansowany ze środków budżetu państwa, przyznanych przez Ministra Edukacji i Nauki w ramach Programu Doskonała nauka II

Drodzy Państwo!

W związku z dużą ilością zgłoszeń, zapisy do bezpośredniego udziału w konferencji Papież światu. 45-lecie pontyfikatu Jana Pawła II zostały już zamknięte. Zachęcamy do obserwowania transmisji online:

Język polski:

Język angielski:


Mt 5,14 | Muzeum Jana Pawła II i Prymasa Wyszyńskiego

Al. Rzeczypospolitej 1
02-972 Warszawa

Tel. +48 22 308 14 91

Press officer

Andrzej Arseniuk

Tel. +48 660 664 393


dr hab. Dominika Żukowska-Gardzińska prof. ucz.

Dr Justyna Chrabka