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Jakub Uchański
Radwan Coat of Arms
Jakub Uchański (1502-1581) of Radwan Coat of Arms was a archbishop of Gniezno and primate of Poland from 1562 to 1581, interrex from 1572 to 1573 and from 1574 to 1575.[291650]

He began his career at the royal court as a secretary and overseer of the lands of Polish queen Bona Sforza. Due to her support he received the position of the ecclesiastical Crown Referendary, and several canonies. He became the bishop of Chełm in 1551, bishop of Wrocław in 1561 (chosen in 1557), and archbishop of Gniezno and primate of Poland in 1562.

He worked closely with the king Zygmunt II August[291651], and supported many of his plans, including his plan to divorce Katarzyna Habsburżanka. He was a member of the pro-reform camp, and also worked to bring the transformation of the Polish-Lithuanian union into a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He represented Zygmunt II August during the negotiations with Lithuanian magnates in Vilnamarker, and he took part in the Lithuanian Sejm in Bielsk Podlaskimarker of 1564.

He also supported the idea of creating a Polish national church[291652] [291653], though he didn't want to break away from Rome. He also supported dialogue with Protestants, advocating religious tolerance. For his too liberal religious view he was briefly excommunicated in 1558 by pope Paul IV[291654], who suspected him of heresy[291655]. Uchański was even summoned before the inquisition[291656]; however, he didn't go to Rome and the conflict was solved via diplomacy. Uchański, while supportive of the Protestants and tolerance, never abandoned Catholic faith and in the 1570s insisted on the election of the Catholic kings. Even though his stance towards Protestants was quite liberal, he was a political opponent of Calvinist Marshal of the Crown, Jan Firlej, especially during the political crises of the 1570s, when Uchański tried to exclude the lesser nobles (members of the Sejm) from the decision making processes and rely solely on the Senate of Poland[291657] (Firlej also wanted to elect a Protestant king to the Polish throne).

After the death of Zygmunt II August, last of the Jagiellon dynasty, he became the interrex until in the free election Henryk III Walezy was elected as the first king of the new Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After Henryk returned to France, Uchański again became the interrex until Anna Jagiellonka became the queen of Poland. In 1575 he joined the pro-Habsburg camp and together with some other Polish senators he proclaimed Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor to be the king of Poland, however due to opposition from many other Polish nobles (szlachta) Stefan Batory was eventually to become the king of Poland.

He was also a translator[291658] and a protector of many liberal thinkers of the Polish renaissance, including Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski[291659] and Jakub Wujek[291660] [291661].

Since the consecrator of him is not known and some of the bishops alive today traced (erroneously as it could be show later) their episcopal lineage back to him, the person of Jakub Uchański was very important for the history of the Catholic Church. This so called Uchański lineage includes many members of the polish episcopate and Pope Pius X.

But in 2007 it became clear, that Uchanski was never part of this succession line. Its roots can be traced back to bishop Claudio Rangoni, who was bishop of Reggio Emiliamarker between 1592 and 1621. He worked as Apostolic Nuncio to Poland from 1598 to 1607. Claudio Rangoni belongs to the Rebiba-lineage, so according to this facts, the part of Uchański-lineage up of Claudio Rangoni is a branch of the Rebiba-lineage



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