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Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki was murdered by the communist secret services. New information from the Prosecutor’s office has been announced during the IPN press conference.

The Institute of National Remembrance announced the results of the investigation at a press conference attended by the Minister of Justice and the Public Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, the IPN President Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D., and the Director of the Chief Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation and Deputy Prosecutor General Andrzej Pozorski.

As a result of activities carried out in Poland, Germany, Austria and Hungary, we have established beyond any doubt that Father Blachnicki died on 27 February 1987 as a result of homicide by administering a deadly toxic substance, said Andrzej Pozorski.


The investigation allows us to say that Father Franciszek Blachnicki was yet another victim of the communist system. He was considered a threat to the communist system because his activity influenced thousands of young people, stated Zbigniew Ziobro.


Father Blachnicki overcame evil of the communist system with good by educating the young generation. He organized one of the largest movements of religious renewal, the Light-Life Movement, which educated and brought together nearly two million Poles. All of Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki's social and missionary activity was in fact a process of education for freedom to come after the totalitarian, communist system, said Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D. during the conference.

As a result of the communist intelligence service operations, two experienced agents — the married couple of Mr. and Mrs. Gontarczyk — were sent to ultimately destroy the priest. Now we know it was a murder, added Karol Nawrocki, Ph.D.


After the exhumation of the body of Fr. Blachnicki from the crypt of the church in Krościenko nad Dunajcem a forensic examinations was conducted. As a result, the murder of Fr. Blachnicki was considered as a communist crime constituting a crime against humanity. The activities of the communist secret services against the clergy were part of the fight against the entire anti-communist opposition in Poland.

Fr. Blachnicki has been added to a long list of the steadfast defenders of faith and independent Poland. Polish priests — victims of totalitarian regimes of the 20th century — played a crucial role in preserving faith and regaining freedom and democracy:

  • Father Maksymilian Maria Kolbe (1894—1941) was a Polish Catholic priest who volunteered to die in place of a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek in the German concentration camp of Auschwitz. Kolbe is considered a martyr and a saint of the Catholic Church.
  • Father Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947—1984) support for the “Solidarity” movement was unacceptable for the communist regime. After organizing numerous Masses for the Homeland and Pilgrimages of Workers, he was kidnapped and murdered by three communist security service officers.
  • Primate Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński (1901—1981) managed to preserve the unity of the Polish nation by leading the church through those difficult times. He was imprisoned by the communists for he couldn’t let the State take control over the Church.  He inspired prayers before the Millennium in 1966, which was a national celebration of the Christianization of Poland and the anniversary of the establishment of the Polish state. Twelve years later, the Cracow Archbishop Karol Wojtyła was elected Pope John Paul II and played a great role in the collapse of communism in Poland.  

The first and most fundamental of all human rights is the right to life, and when this right is denied all other rights are threatened … 

John Paul II


Read more about other victims of totalitarian regimes.

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