Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Polish Exception

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

A tribute to all the Victims of communism and Red terror in Poland and a tribute to Pope John Paul II who is about to be proclaimed a Catholic Saint

YES it is in Europe and particularly in Central Europe and YES it was occupied by the communists for decades and the church was persecuted and forbidden and YES it is one of the most religious and devoted Christian countries in the world !
For many, “God is dead in Europe”. Western Europe, the cradle of modern Christianity, has become a "post-Christian society" in which the ruling class and cultural leaders are anti-religious or "Christophobic," writes George Weigel, a Catholic columnist and U.S. biographer of Pope John Paul II.
But Poland makes an exception (along with Ireland) in this de-Christianized society. And what is striking in Poland is the contrast with its surrounding neighbors and specially the Czech Republic.
For comparison, in Poland more than 55% of polish attends church regularly versus 5% only in Czech Republic!!! More than 90% of polish declares themselves as catholic while the opposite is true in Czech Republic where more than 50 % are atheists and only 26% are catholic. There now seem to be as many statues of Pope John Paul II as there once were of V.I. Lenin in Poland.
This catholic faith is influencing every aspect of the polish life, from politics to media and society. The two major political parties in Poland Law and Justice (Polish: Prawo i Sprawiedliwość ) and The Civic Platform (Polish: Platforma Obywatelska, PO) are both of religious catholic affiliation and they account together for around 74 % of the total votes far in front of the left party Left and Democrats (Lewica i Demokraci, LiD) which accounts for 13 % (the fourth political power in the country is another Christian right party : The Polish People's Party which accounts for 8.91 of the votes). So the Christian right parties account together for more than 82% of the popular votes and "What's new in Poland is that political parties want to express their Catholicism," said Pawel Spiewak, a Polish sociologist and expert on right-wing politics.
Last September Pope Benedict XVI was in Czech Republic, he made this special trip to the Land of Nonbelievers to try to revive the Christian faith in this atheist country. A new era of evangelization is about to and should start in Europe and in this Poland is expected to play a crucial role and to serve as a model of how countries and people should remain attached to their faith and Heritage despite all the difficulties and challenges they face. It's very nice to see that the Polish nation refuses to forget its own rich heritage, which is strongly linked to the Catholic faith. May they be an inspiration for the rest of the European continent!

Further Reading : Religion takes a back seat in Western Europe
Is God dead in Europe?
Catholic influence remains strong in Poland

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Story

St. Luke 2: 1 – 14

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them at the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men.