Poland

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

The Power of Three Simple Words: We Want God

Modern political discourse is in a sad state today. Ideas are now crafted in sound bites, tweets and slogans to appeal to a world absorbed by the frenetic intemperance of instant messaging. Speech has become dominated by empty rhetoric and posturing. Expressing oneself is complicated by political correctness that suppresses common sense and objective truth. [...]

We Are All Poles Now: The Battle is for Western Civilization

While some frenzied protestors call Trump “illiterate,” Polish crowds were impressed at the American president’s depth of historical understanding in the recent speech delivered in Warsaw’s Krasiński Square (July 6, 2017). The place chosen for the speech was remarkable in itself and holds great significance for Poles. Trump chose to speak at the memorial to [...]

President Trump’s Warsaw Speech

In the mid-nineteenth century, the poet and playwright Adam Mickiewicz dramatized the theme of his suffering Poland as the “Christ of Nations” and, deprived of its national identity for two centuries, the agony worsened when, in an image borrowed by many, Poland was crucified between the two thieves of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. It [...]

Poland’s Presidential Election and the Future of Catholicism

Although Poland remains one of the world’s most Catholic cultures, in recent years its government has pushed an agenda separating Catholicism from decision-making in public life, often at odds with Poland’s Constitution and society itself. However, this is now coming to an abrupt halt with the ascent of President Andrzej Duda: young, charismatic, media savvy, [...]

Remembering Polish Catholic Heroes of WWII

Although even secularist historians admit that Pope St. John Paul II inspired the rise of Solidarity and dealt a death blow to the Soviet Empire, the pivotal role Polish Catholicism played in anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance is less well-known. The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II this year is a fitting time to [...]

St. John Cantius: The Professor Saint

To many these days, the saint and the professor may seem quite distinct, even opposed, figures. The professor pursues the affairs of the intellect, and is recognized—if sometimes grudgingly—by the world as a sophisticate and knower of its ways. The saint, on the other hand, pursues holiness even at the expense of basic worldly interests, [...]

Bl. Ladislaus of Gielniów and the Power of Catholic Culture

 In the year of Our Lord fourteen sixty-two, St. Peter’s chains’ day, I took the cloister’s bonds. In Gielniów, Peter begot me, but Peter, most kind, in the cloister enclosed me: smashed my chains. Thanking good God, with the Psalmist I sing: ‘You have broken my bonds, O merciful God, By a wretch be thanked, [...]

How The Poles Saved Civilization, Part II

Among the most momentous events of twentieth-century history is the defeat of the Communist Red Army in the Battle of Warsaw in the summer of 1920, “the miracle on the Vistula,” the subject of Adam Zamoyski’s excellent recent book Warsaw 1920: Lenin’s Failed Conquest of Europe. In the aftermath of the catastrophic First World War, [...]

How the Poles Saved Civilization, Part I

On a June evening in 1979 I was having a drink on a small balcony outside a sixth-floor apartment in downtown Warsaw with a very civilized, elderly Polish intellectual, a retired mathematics professor who had taken a degree at Cambridge between the two world wars and spoke a refined, witty, patrician English. Inside the apartment [...]

Poland’s Warrior for the Faith: Stefan Cardinal Wyszyński

On June 1st, 1961, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Cardinal Primate of Poland, Stefan Wyszyński stood at St. Anne’s Church in Warsaw, his archiepiscopal see.  The baroque and neoclassical-style church was still not fully rebuilt from Hitler’s systematic destruction visited on Warsaw for having dared to rise against his rule.  Outside the church, well [...]

An Open Letter to My Friends in Poland

A son of Poland is now Blessed John Paul II. What is Poland to do now? If a friend might offer a suggestion: The Church in Poland should start looking forward rather than backward. Ever since the late pope’s death in 2005, the Polish Church seems to have been looking over its shoulder at the [...]

Remembering Pope John Paul II

Strange as it may seem, I've been vaguely worried about the beatification on May 1 of a man with whom I was in close conversation for over a decade and to the writing of whose biography I dedicated 15 years of my own life. My worries don't have to do with allegations of a "rushed" [...]

Fun with stereotypes

Bulgarian artist Yanko Tsvetkov is getting lots of attention for his "Mapping Stereotypes" project -- various maps of Europe according to different countries' real feelings about their neighbors. Here's Europe according to the U.S.: Seems about right: What else is Ireland good for if not giving us St. Patrick? (Guinness, maybe.) And the further east [...]

1942: State Absolutism

St. Thomas More said that to be a Christian, we must not only believe the Resurrection, we must continually be surprised by it. That saint, surprised daily by the empty tomb, saw what happens when people are not even surprised by God. The reinvented government that sentenced More to death was, from various angles, a [...]

Another Polish Tragedy

  The nation of Poland is still in shock over the plane crash that killed 97 people, including President Lech Kaczynski, first lady Maria Kaczynska, the national bank president, the deputy foreign minister, the head of the National Security Office, the deputy Parliament speaker, the Olympic Committee head, two presidential aides, several priests, and 17 [...]

John Paul II and the value of suffering

Hoo boy. This story is just tailor-made for breathless secular reporting: Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the "postulator" for Pope John Paul II's cause for sainthood, has published a book titled Why He's a Saint that claims, among other things, that the former pope practiced self-flagellation: In the book, Oder wrote that John Paul frequently denied himself [...]

1942: Just Because You’re Paranoid

   A September article in De Misthoorn, a Dutch Nazi Journal, scorned plutocracy as an enemy of National Socialism. The Nazi Party, representing the socialism of the masses, declared itself more hostile to capitalism than to Marxism, because the latter was based on "sounder principles." Nonetheless, Bolshevism in the Soviet Union was collapsing under the [...]

1942: An Ugly Amount of Success

  My files from 1942 have some obituaries of English Catholics, beginning with the death on July 10 of Lieutenant-General Sir George Macdonogh, G.B.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G. At the age of 77, his life spanned the Second Afghan War, the Zulu War, the Boer War, and two World Wars. As the chief architect of modern military [...]

The Presidential Debate

InsideCatholic is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but I write from Oxford, Mississippi. Oxford has a population of about 14,000, which approximately doubles when the University of Mississippi students are in town. So, as you might imagine, the presidential debate here at Ole Miss tonight -- assuming it comes off -- is a big deal. The [...]

No Lasting City: On Memory and Regret

  Regrets? I've had more than a few.   Stubborn vignettes cling inexplicably to the crags of my memory. There was the time in fifth grade when Heide, the prettiest girl in school, approached me in the lunch line, held up a quarter, and asked if I wouldn't mind buying her a pretzel. I proved [...]

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