Church and State in Communist Poland

A History, 1944–1989


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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

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.

Bibliographic Details

Marian S. Mazgaj
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 203
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5904-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6010-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

Introduction      5

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

Conclusions      163

Epilogue      166

Chapter Notes      177

Bibliography      189

Index      193