Roman Catholic Church in the Fight for Social Justice during the Communist Dictatorship in Poland
The Roman Catholic Church in Poland was the main force capable to oppose the communist dictatorship. Although the state was officially “socialist” the condition of ordinary people, including workers in industry and agriculture, was deplorable. Communist regime totally neglected the principles of social justice, creating and using against society the whole apparatus of repression. The Church was only force in the society which created “space of liberty”, provided instruction in the principles of Catholic social teaching and moral strength to the fighting for peoples’ rights. In the absence of any organisation truly representing the world of work, the Roman Catholic Church often played the role of intermediation between the civil authorities and the society. All this led in many ways to the martyrdom of Church leaders and other Church representatives. Suffering with the nation and sharing its fate allowed the Church building up a unique authority, what is still fruiting nowadays when the society tries to shake off the rests of communism now disguised in the suit of liberalism.
Keywords: Roman Catholic Church in Poland, Solidarity, martyrdom, communist regime, Cardinal Wyszyński, Jerzy Popiełuszko, Bishop Kaczmarek
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