Polish Catholic Church
Polish Catholic Church was one of the most important organisations fighting against socialist regime. With a percentage of Catholics in socialist Poland never less than 90%, the Church was the only force that the authorities were afraid of before the formation of the Solidarity movement (however the relations between the Church and the Solidarity were very close and in some cities inseparable). With the choice of Karol Wojtyla as a Pope in 1978, and his clear discontent with communism, the position of Church only strengthened. Priests were often under surveillance and persecuted, with the killing of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko as the most tragic example.
Throughout the decades Polish Catholic Church engaged in various activities to diminish regime's power: from helping the persecuted and their families or organising aid during the martial law, to quite direct actions, like holding the masses during the strikes in Gdansk Shipyard. The Church offered both moral and material support for the opposition members, engaging ex. in dissemination of underground publications.
In 1975 within Church first Week of Christian Culture (WCC) was organised: an event gathering intellectuals and artists in common discussion and exhibitions. It proofed to be a great success and the event expanded to numerous Polish cities where it is still organised. Shortly after the first WCC, Artists' Priesthood was formed. It has become a platform for exchanging ideas and a basis for organising cultural opposition, not only of religious nature.
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Type of organisation
- other non-profit organization
Author(s) of this page
- Tołłoczko-Suchańska, Barbara