"If I would use the phrase, ‘the specter of secularization is haunting Poland right now,’ that would be probably a good description of the present mindset of great number of people in Poland. The presently existing tensions are not, I think, inter-religious or inter-church tensions. The inter-religious tensions are marginal due to the dominant position of the Roman Catholic Church on the national level.

The potentially tension-building problem is the issue of secularization. Because the Roman Catholic Church was very strong in Poland even in the times of Communism, secularization was not perceived then as a serious danger, unless people would be forced to give up their religion, or in the unlikely case of the Communist ideology winning the people. To battle Communism meant, therefore, to battle the danger of secularization as well. After Communism was gone, there was initially no great danger of secularization either, because the pope was Polish. John Pole II was the pride of the Poles, they loved him, and they seemed not to be interested in secularization. John Paul II, however, saw secularization as a real danger, and he warned his compatriots of it.

The situation changed recently. The present Pope is not a Polish Pope anymore, and Poland entered the European community exposing itself directly to this very danger of secularization the Poles were warned of. Some Polish politicians, now officially members of the European Parliament, voiced publicly their concern about the secularization of Europe. They declared that it was their mission and the mission of Poland as a member of the European Union to bring Europe back to Christianity, and to revive the Christendom. This was not some kind of a whim; rather, these politicians followed a long tradition of seeing Poland as a ‘designated’ defendant of the Christian (Catholic) faith."



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.