The influx of Roman Catholic clergy into Western Pomerania in 1945–1956
Drawing on a database comprising 397 records — each of which corresponds to one priest — the author has analysed the settlement of Roman Catholic priests in Western Pomerania after the Second World War. She has determined the dynamics of the movement of priests as well as their origins, and has compared the number of priests in the region with those in the other apostolic administrations in the western and northern regions of Poland. In addition, she has attempted to describe the clerical community on the basis of opinions about priests expressed by the faithful and secular authorities.
Her analysis shows that despite a constant growth the number of priests remained insufficient with regard to the needs of people living in the region. The priests came to Western Pomerania not because they wanted to, but, usually, because they were told to do so by their superiors. This influenced the quality of their pastoral work, as did a sense of transitoriness, frequent transfers from parish to parish and unregulated legal situation of the Church in the western part of Poland. Nevertheless, between 1945 and 1956 Western Pomerania almost completely changed its religious nature, a process to which the priests working there undoubtedly contributed.