A lot of observers of the latest history of Poland cannot understand today why in Poland, after the years 1989, no strong Christian-Democratic Party was established, why beside ‘Our Journal’ – any other strong Catholic journal is edited here, at the Vistula, which would take away readers from ‘Electoral newspaper’. Well, a lot of foreign correspondents and scientists ask me why in such a country as Poland, is the most popular charity action – Great Christmas Help Orchestra – run by a man who is openly hostile to Christian values. For it is worth realizing the fact that Jerzy Owsiak is openly related to the sect Hare Kryszna, which has not only got a connection with the babble of New Age, but contests Christianity – in its all dimensions. Why is the Polish public sphere full of Catholic symbols but it is also pushing people and opinions aside onto the margin, which are the signs of the Catholic way of thinking about public matters?

Not so long time ago was it difficult to give any answers to this issue. Today, when we already know more about contracts between Czesław Kiszczak and Wojciech jaruzelski, and representatives of the so-called opposition, we can put forward a hypothesis that the contracts of Magdalenka and the Round Table included secret agreements concerning excluding the Catholics from the decision-making groups. In the past time of twenty years, the trotskyists (like Jacek Kuroń or Adam Michnik) had more to say than representatives of the Catholic majority.

Not earlier than now, is this state not reflecting natural opinions of our society being overcome. Unfortunately, - supported by post-communist media – the process of aggressive secularization caused a lot of destruction at that time. Today it is a rare question why in the Catholic country the Christian-democratic party was not successful.

Here is a tiny cause to explain this situation. In this place I must return back to the beginnings of the Third Polish Republic. At that time I was a young activist of the opposition and - together with a few older colleagues of mine – we had an idea to make an attempt to build a Christian-democratic party (it was supposed to be called a Movement of Christian Democracy), based on the structure of dynamically developing Catholic Intellectuals Clubs at that time. We did a lot of work and organized a meeting in Warsaw at which there were representatives of most Catholic Intellectuals Clubs working in Poland. At one moment, the prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, and a senator Andrzej Wielowieyski entered the hall of debates. We greeted them (how naive we were) with loud applauses. Mazowiecki gave a speech and his pronouncement can be summarized in one sentence: ‘I am a Christian and I am a democrat but I am not a Christian democrat’. A similar statement was said by Wielowieyski. We were speechless and the first after 1989 – attempt of creating Christian democracy disappeared in the fog of unexpected disappointment.

At that time we did not know that the control on the Civilian Parliamentary Club was taken over by Bronisław Geremek and his supporters. According to the concepts promoted by them, Poland did not need any political parties. The mirror reflection of the Polish United Labour Party was to govern (run by Geremek, Michnik and Kuroń, with some participation of Mazowiecki and Wałęsa).

Soon after that – together with a group of activists of Solidarity from Cracow – we established a small political party near Wawel called ‘Christian Democracy’. This party, in a short time, became one of the founders of Agreement Centre. We still hoped that we would manage to create Poland on the basis of ideas of Christian democracy. Unfortunately, we failed again.

These are historic memories but the Reader may ask: and what is this Christian democracy, what economic and political ideas does it have, how can it be useful to Poland?

Firstly: the classic idea of Christian democracy opts for free market and supporting entrepreneurship, but is against the so-called social Darwinism which characterizes the way of thinking of liberal groups. The Christian social thought does not release the country from the duty of responsibility for the market form or places of people being victims of injustice and who are the weakest on it. The state should intervene at the moments when the policy of transnational corporations and actions of financial potentates are aimed against stability and independence of the country and interests of ordinary citizens.

Secondly – the Christian Democrats clearly put a pressure on the rule of subsidiarity – this is a practice very particularly described in literature which should make it possible for citizens to have an equal start and possibility of development. Simply speaking – everybody should have a possibility of receiving a fishing-line onto which he can catch a fish. Whereas the country is not released from community responsibilities of taking care of education, health and culture. Funds for these purposes are elaborated by good entrepreneurship which is developing also thanks to the interferences of the country at the moments when the rule of equal competition on the market is being breached.

Finally – and it is extremely essential at this moment – the Christian Democrats proclaim the rule of the so-called the order of loving others, that is, the order of ethical duties to which the mechanism of valuing our attitudes should succumb. So, first, we owe attention and work to our relatives, families, then to the local society, and then to our national community, and, finally – to the whole humankind.

I admit that the theoretically described rule says that, for example, giving a speech on the area of the former concentration camp Auschwitz, Mrs. Prime minister Beata Szydło – consciously or not – pronounced a classical rule of Christian democracy: first we should take care of the safety of our own citizens and then the whole world.

The rule of ‘the order of loving others’ explains also our duties towards the problem of the new ‘wander of peoples’. First we must take care of the Polish safety, and then help others solve the problems of wars which are the cause of mass migration to Europe.

Such a general review of the basic rules of the Christian social thought proves how much this way of understanding and taking on attitudes towards social matters has got to offer to contemporary Poland. The problem is that there are some invisible barriers which had been built before the activity of people thinking in a Christian way.

There is still somebody who – like Mazowiecki, Geremek and Wielowieyski – is interested in preventing Christian rules of policy from developing in Poland, or running business and Christian way of thinking about the role of the country in the life of citizens. We should think on what barriers these are and who is building them.


„Niedziela” 26/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl