This text explores the nature of Polish Catholicism in the first half of the twentieth century and the changes it underwent under the policies of Soviet Communism. Of particular note are the laws and policies that were employed by the state in order to destroy religion in general, and Catholicism in particular. The text also explores the way that the strong tradition of Polish culture prepared the populace to be uniquely resistant to attempts to destroy its Christian religious life. It is ultimately, a story of the triumph of the people over the state.
Table of Contents:
1. The Legal Status of the Church in Pre-War Poland 9
2. Abrogation of the Concordat 20
3. Legal Status of the Church in Postwar Poland 30
4. Legislation Affecting the Temporal Goods of the Church 53
5. The Church’s Teaching Activity in the Schools 68
6. Legislation Affecting Christian Marriage 102
7. The Main Events Affecting Church-State Relations 115
8. The 1989 Statute on Church-State Relations 129
9. The 1993 Concordat with the Vatican 143
10. The 1997 Constitution of the Republic of Poland 158
Chapter Notes 177
About The Author:
Marian S. Mazgaj has worked as professor of theology and philosophy at numerous institutions of higher education, and is the author of two books and hundreds of articles. He is a pastoral associate at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling, West Virginia.