Lublin, Diocese of (LUBLINENSIS) .—The city of Lublin is in Russian Poland, capital of the Government of Lublin, lies on the Bistrzyca, a tributary of the Vistula, and in 1897 had a population of 50,152, of whom 30,914 were Catholics. It is the seat of a Catholic bishop, a governor, and an army corps. Conspicuous among the eleven Catholic churches of the town are the cathedral, dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, which was built by Bernhard Maciejowski (afterwards cardinal) between 1582 and 1600, remained till 1772 in the possession of the Jesuits, and since 1832 has been the cathedral; also the church of St. Stanislaus, erected in 1342 by King Casimir for the Dominicans; the church of the Assumption of Mary “de triumphis”, built during 1412 and 1426 by King Wladislaw Jagello, in memory of the victory gained over the Teutonic Order; the parish church of the Conversion of St. Paul, erected in 1461, and till 1864 the church of the Franciscans, etc.
Lublin was founded in the eleventh century, and soon began to flourish. In the events arising out of the relations between Poles and Lithuanians, the town on various occasions played an important role. From the diets which assembled there, the so-called union of diets of 1569 came to be of decisive importance to the fortunes of both kingdoms. The alliance between Lithuanians and Poles was always more or less loose (see Lithuania); only the hostility, common to both of them against the Teutonic Order, obviated a separation more than once. Following the downfall of the order, a much more dangerous enemy arose in the East in the upward-struggling empire of the Muscovites under Ivan III. When he had got rid of the Tatars he set about building up a centralized state. And as he had designs on Polish territory, he sought to rouse up enemies against the Poles. His successor followed a like policy. It became obvious that there would have to be a fight with Russia over the supremacy in the East. That could only be done with any success if, in place of the looser alliance, a uniform incorporation of the states took place. King Sigismund (1548-1572) showed himself strenuously in favor of a closer union. Nevertheless when the united diets finally met at Lublin in 1569, the Lithuanians, although their Greek Orthodox nobles had in 1563 by royal decree become possessed of the same rights as the Catholic nobility of Poland, stoutly opposed a closer union between Lithuania and Poland. Their representatives demanded absolute independence in all home questions, and the maintenance of their own constitution and administration. Only in the case of war were Lithuanians and Poles to meet in diet, while the monarch was not to be common to both, but to be separated from both countries, and to be freely elected. A passionate conflict ensued with the Polish nobility. These latter were so much the stronger that they had the king on their side, and could also reckon on the lower Lithuanian nobles who were much oppressed by princes and senators, and were not possessed of the same independence as the higher nobility. The king cleared away the last legal obstacle by renouncing his hereditary rights as Grand Duke of Lithuania, and thus placed both divisions in the same relation to his person. When, then, Sigismund Augustus by virtue of his royal authority commanded the Lithuanians to consent to the union, they left the diet, in order to prevent the union, and made every preparation to defend their independence by the sword. The Poles, however, broke the opposition by inducing the king to unite one by one to the Polish crown the Lithuanian territories, such as Podlachia, Volhynia and others, in which his authority remained unshaken. Only the use of the Russian language in the courts was guaranteed to them. The few who refused to submit to this arrangement were declared to have forfeited their lands and dignities, and thus Lithuania was robbed of its richest province. The Lithuanian magnates, who had also the smaller nobility opposed to them, had nothing to do but submit. They joined the diet at Lublin again, and on June 27, 1569, announced their willingness to acknowledge the union. On July 1 the union was solemnly proclaimed. Lithuania thus ceased to be a self-dependent state. It retained however at least some marks of independence: Lithuanian offices, its own seal, and the title of grand duchy.
Under King Stephen Bathori (1576-86) Lublin became the seat of five of the highest law courts, which the king, under the renunciation of his old right, established to pronounce judgment as courts of appeal for the several combined territories. King John Sobieski, the conqueror of the Turks at Vienna (1680), summoned a synod at Lublin, to put an end to the controversies among Roman Catholics and those of other confessions and to win over the small number of schismatics, who after the Union of Brest remained in Lithuania; but the synod had no success. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Lublin still remained one of the most important towns in Poland. At the Partition of Poland the town went first to Austria; in 1809, after the victory of Napoleon, to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, on the disruption of which by the Congress of Vienna Russia obtained it. During the period of Austrian rule Pius VII, on the petition of Emperor Francis II, established at Lublin a separate bishopric. Adalbert Skarszewski was appointed first bishop in 1807. When, during the reorganization of the Catholic Church in Russia,.Pius VII, by the Bull “Militantis Ecclesiae”, of March 12, 1817, elevated the Bishopric of Warsaw into an archbishopric, Lublin with other dioceses was placed under it as suffragan and at the same time a bishopric was instituted for Podlachia, with the seat in Janow. In 1868 both dioceses were in a way united, the Bishop of Lublin being likewise permanent Vicar Apostolic of Podlachia. Josephus Marcellinus Dziecielski (1828-39) succeeded the first bishop, who was elevated in 1825 to the Archbishopric of Warsaw, then, after a long vacancy, Vincentius a Paulo Pienkowski (1853-63), Valentinus Barenowski (1871-79), Casimirus Josephus Joannes Wnorowski (1883-85), and the present bishop, Franciscus Jaczewski (since 1889). The brief history of the bishopric exhibits many vicissitudes, particularly since Tsar Nicholas I took up the plans of Catharine II, to bring over to the Orthodox Church those who were in communion with Rome, and carried them through by the most violent methods. Thousands of Catholics in communion with the Church in the Diocese of Lublin were “converted” by force to Orthodoxy, and a great number of religious buildings were taken from them. The appointment of an auxiliary bishop for this large diocese has for a long time been consistently frustrated by the Russian Government, and the long-continued oppression in many parishes hinders the care of souls and does great injury to the Church. Since the issue of the edict allowing religious toleration, in 1905, the conditions have somewhat improved, though the officials put all the obstacles they can in the way of a return to Catholicism by those who were formerly compelled to join the Orthodox Church. In spite of everything, many thousands have returned to the Catholic Church since 1906.
The diocese includes the greater part of the Governments of Lublin and Siedlec, and numbers 19 deaneries, 427 parishes, 403 secular priests (205 administrators, 28 curates, 145 vicars, and 25 other priests), and 1,532,300 Catholics. The cathedral chapter has 4 prelacies and 8 canonries; there is also a collegiate chapter with 3 prelacies and 4 canonries at Zamos6. The diocesan seminary for priests at Lublin has 1 regent, 1 viceregent, 6 professors, and 108 students. The Sisters of Charity have 6 establishments with 29 sisters.