Render Unto Ceasar: Church and State in Poland

Authors

  • Carl Tighe

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-038-07-1986-11_3

Keywords:

Philosophy

Abstract

Cast your mind back to August 1980—to the media images that flowed from the Gdansk shipyard: a priest kneeling, hearing confessions, Walesa at an open-air mass, pictures of the Polish Pope pinned to the shipyard gates, Walesa's huge biro with the pictures of the Pope and the Vatican—yes, it was a very pious affair. For most Poles, and indeed for most observers from the West, it seems that from a long and troubled Polish history the Church has emerged to represent the Polish people and the national interest in ways that the government and the Communist Party cannot. It is a general belief that the Catholic Church is the sole remaining avenue of free thought and expression in Poland. The total identification of the Polish nation with the Catholic Church is at once a mysterious and satisfying image: Catholicism and Polishness are somehow wrapped up together and the temptation is to shrug and say: "Well, that's Poland for you. Always has been, always will be."

Published

1986-12-03

Issue

Section

Articles

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