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White Eagle, Black MadonnaOne Thousand Years of the Polish Catholic Tradition$
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Robert E. Alvis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271702

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271702.001.0001

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From Stalinism to Solidarity (1945–1989)

From Stalinism to Solidarity (1945–1989)

(p.218) 9 From Stalinism to Solidarity (1945–1989)
White Eagle, Black Madonna

Robert E. Alvis

Fordham University Press

The socialist regime that came to power in postwar Poland sought to limit the public role of the Catholic Church and weaken its hold on the Polish people. Church leaders, including Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Pope John Paul II, effectively leveraged their moral authority to defend the church’s interests, preserve its unity, and advance popular resistance to the regime. During an era of religious decline in Europe as a whole, Polish Catholics held fast to their faith, and Poland gradually emerged as something of an island of religious observance. The church in Poland was only lightly touched by religious impulses unleashed by Vatican II.

Keywords:   Communism, John Paul II, Millennium Novena, Jerzy Popiełuszko, Second Vatican Council, solidarity, Karol Wojtyła, Stefan Wyszyński

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