Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A theory: how the Catholic Church made us to dislike a catholic nation

We, the Polish people, have been controlled by the Catholic Church throughout our history. I mean they largely influenced our politics. We are an exception among Slavs, because most slavic nations were either totally independent on the Church (like Russians), or were subordinate to the non-slavic nations, for example Austrians or Germans or Hungarians. It almost looks like we were the only slavic nation in a kind of anti-slavic coalition, since the Xth century. Our wars were wars against the enemies of the Church. For example the war against Russia (orthodox) in the XVIIth century, later against Ukraina (orthodox), later against Sweden (protestants), then against the Turkey (muslim). With a strange exception - Germany. Germans are a very strange exception indeed, because the last war we were fighting with them was maybe in the XIth century, yet we seem not to like each other. We did have had bitter enemies - the Prussians (not Germans), but they again fit into the schema, being protestants. Of course I suspect we did not like Prussians for the very same reason - because the Church did not like them.

My simple and stupid question is - how come we do not like Germans? Half of them are catholics and we did not fight with them for centuries, until the XXth century. So what happened in the XXth century? Suddenly something very strange must have happened. Well, my guess is that Germany "betrayed" the Rome in a way and joined the protestant Prussia (which happened in the 1871). Only then the Church decided that we should dislike also the Germans. I cannot prove my theory in numbers, but I know many examples from the polish literature (late XIX century) being very anti-german. One of the writers was Henryk Sienkiewicz, a very talented writer indeed. I spend some time reading his papers concerning the contemporary problems, and I must admit he was very anti-prussian and anti-german. I was also reading a little Bismarck ("Die Gedanken und Erinnerungen") and this led me to the conclusion that the Kulturkampf may have been provoked by the Catholic Church. Unfortunately the literature lives longer than opportunistic political strategies and the Church making us anti-german (just my theory) contributed to the tragic XXth century. In fact they made us anti-russian too (which I understand) and probably affected this way our attitude against the Soviet Union.

The large von Habsburg empire does not exist any more and the Catholic Church is not a serious threat since 1918. However the problem remains and we live between two large neighbour nations disliking them (to say the least). Neighbours usually have difficult history, but in this case I would say that the difficulties are unusually large. Of course, we say we dislike Russians because of the communism, but if my theory is correct then maybe the communism was that difficult for us BECAUSE we disliked the Russians. I can compare it now, since I live in Finland, and the Finns did not have had that many problems with the Russians as we did. The Finns were very practical about the communism. Well, I wanted to write about the Germans. If I am right then the Church did an extraordinary job making us anti-german in just few decades. I am sure they had no reason to do it before 1871, or, say, 1866, because then von Habsburgs were somehow controlling Germany. It is really strange that they succeeded, and now I guess most people in Poland would say that we have been fighting against Germans for one thousand years, which is not true. We were fighting with the Prussians, Russians, Swedish, Ukrainians, but almost never with the Germans.

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