The Catholic Intelligentsia Club
The foundation of the Catholic Intelligentsia Club in Poland was linked to hopes of a broadening of civic liberties following the Thaw in 1956, and was a break with the ubiquitous Marxist ideology. Its originators were a group with connections with the Krakow weekly "Tygodnik Powszechny" (The Universal Weekly) and the monthly "Znak" (The Sign). Four clubs were permitted to commence functioning, in Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw and Krakow. Their objectives were to broaden independent thought, to familiarise lay Catholics with movements in Catholic thought with their origins outside Socialist centres, to uphold the national tradition, educate and deepen religious knowledge.
The Krakow KIK was officially registered by the National Council of the City of Krakow on 1 April 1958, and its first President was the editor of "Znak", Stefan Wilkanowicz. A frequent guest at the Krakow KIK was the Metropolitan of Krakow, Archbishop Karol Wojtyła. In addition to its lectures and sectional activities, KIK cultivated contacts with international Catholic organisations such as Pax Romana, Aktion Sühnezeichen, Vie Nouvelle etc. It read the work of the Second Vatican Council and initiated discussion on reform in the Church. In the 1970s it took an active part in the work of the Krakow Synod, organised under the auspices of the then Archbishop Karol Wojtyła. KIK entered a new phase in the 1980s, when its Krakow branch became actively involved in the Solidarity movement, and took advantage of the new conditions to create a network of "small Clubs". During the Martial Law period, KIK participated in the activities of the underground, creating a background of support for Solidarity activists. When the regime dissolved the 'Związki Twórcze' (Creative Unions), KIK started up an oral periodical "Na Głos" (Aloud), which attracted the participation of well-known figures from literary and artistic circles. In 1989 a Civic Committee (Komitet Obywatelski) was founded within KIK, which selected the first deputies and senators in the newly independent Poland.
KIK remains faithful to its traditions, and continues to familiarise its members and sympathisers with the teachings of John Paul II and propagate the work of the Second Vatican Council. It organises readings and meetings on religious, social and philosophical topics as well as art. and literature, and addresses matters concerning education and upbringing. It also runs sessions and symposia on a variety of current topics with the participation of scientists and specialists.
KIK has a number of subsections, including the choir Organum, a Family section, an art section, a Mission section, a legal section, a community aid section, an Esperanto section, and an English Club. It also runs an art. gallery, ALBERT (open Mon. - Thurs. 11.00 - 6.00 and Fri. 11.00 - 4.00, access via the Office).
KIK also owns a retreat/holiday house, 'Andrzejówka' in Sucha Beskidzka.