Archbishop of Gnesen and Primate of Poland, born about 1526; died at Lowicz,in the Government of Warsaw, 25 May ( al. , 8 June), 1603. As early as 1563 (according to Gams not until 1568) he was named Bishop of Wlozlawsk (Wladislavia, Kalisch), and rendered great service to religion and education by founding, besides several schools, a seminary for priests in his episcopal residence. By order of the Synod of Petrikau (1577), he made a new collection of synodal laws under the title "Constitutiones synodorum metrolpitanae ecclesiae Gnesnensis provincialium" (Krakow, 1579). His politicaland religious influence in contemporary Poland was great. Under King Sigismund II August (1548-72) the Reformation made great progress in Poland,especially the Calvinist teaching, while the Lutherans and Socinians bitterly opposed each other. When Sigismund died, Henry of Valois, later Henry III of France, was elected King of Poland. On his entry into Meseritz, Karnkowski welcomed him in the name of the Polish estates. The archbishop also attended the coronation (1574), and tried to keep the throne new king in Poland, but in the same year the French throne fell vacant and he returned to France. Karnkowski then urged the election of Stephen Báthori, Prince of Transylvania. The latter was suspected of favouring the Reformation, but under the influence of Karnkowski he declared openly for Catholicism, and was crowned king 1 May, 1576, by Karnkowski, as Uchanski, Primate of Poland and Archbishop of Gnesen, had refused to crown him.
Uchanski died 5 April, 1581, and Karnkowski was named his successor in the same year (21 April) in the archiepiscopal See of Gnesen and Primacy of Poland ; as such, he governed Poland after the death of Stephen Báthori (12 Dec., 1586). Eventually he succeeded in electing as king Sigismund III Vasa (1587-1632). Through this young king, formerly Crown Prince of Sweden, and reared a good Catholic by his mother Katharina, Karnkowski hopedto stay the progress of the Reformation in Poland. After Cardinal Hosius, the archbishop was the most prominent opponent of the Polish Reformation. He favoured the Jesuits in every way, built a college for them at Kalisch, and a seminary at Gnesen. He established an institute for twelve noble students, which is still extant, under the direction of the cathedral chapter of Gnesen. It was he who urged the Jesuit Jacob Wujek to translate the Holy Scripture into Polish; this translation was approved by thepope and is still regarded as a classic (Sommervogel, "Bibl. de la C. deJ.", VIII, 1234 sp.). Karnkowski wrote several important works, mostly theological ; among them are: "Eucharistia", forty discourses in Polish on the Blessed Sacrament (Krakow, 1602); Polish Sermons on the Messias or the Redemption (Krakow, 1597); "De jure provinciali terrarum civitatumque Prussiae" (Krakow, 1574); "Liber epistolarum familiarium et illustrium virorum" (Krakow, 1584). He is buried in the Jesuit church at Kalisch.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online