1. The break in Poland : from Sapieha to Wojtyla

NOTHING is known outside Poland, and little inside Poland now I fear, after forty years of Communist rule, of what was the Polish Catholic tradition during the last two centuries – a tradition that has been smothered and kept hidden by its enemies, both secret and declared. It is these enemies who have occupied the scene and forced their attention on everyone: the liberal, conservative, aristocratic whites, generally freemasons, on the one side and the carbonari, revolutionary reds, generally intellectuals and men of letters, on the other side. We have always confused your traditional, nationalist, Catholic Poland, where all our sympathy lies, with these two factions whose messianism has exerted a fascination for us and left us disturbed: Poland “ the Christ of the nations ” ! We were far from suspecting that your “ real country ”, although occupied, oppressed and maltreated was obtaining its living from – and paying dearly for the adventures and calculated schemes of – the “ legal country ”, those two parties both white and red, which took their orders from abroad and who were ever the false friends of your people and the enemies of our religion.

All the former countries of Christendom, from Russia to Mexico, taking in your country and ours, have undergone this same plutocratic, intellectual, political and ultimately socialist, masonic, and police domination, teleguided from Berlin, London, Manhattan or today from Moscow. Their aim has been to set one country against another, not before setting us against ourselves, to bring about the ruin of the Church and the annihilation of the Christian faith, Catholic or Orthodox.

“ Happy the Polish Catholic who can swear that none of his family, near or distant, was ever involved in any of those revolutions ! ” I wrote when recalling the memory of your unhappy history. (The Polish Illusion, English CRC 113, August 1979. Cf. Jedrzej Giertych’s letter Poland Semper Fidelis in Approaches)


The true Catholic Poland, however, as represented by the vast majority of its divided people, remained behind the bishops and priests and were faithful to Rome’s firm and wise counter-revolutionary policy, which was royalist and social, or “ democratic ” as it began to be called, though I would prefer the word “ communitarian ” in order to avoid confusion. This Poland, which is dear to our hearts and dear to the Sovereign Pontiffs, had the exceptional grace, under the reign of St. Pius X, of being guided during this period of political resurrection and spiritual liberation by a great nationalist thinker, Roman Dmowski (1864-1939) and by a wonderful pastor of the Church, the Prince-Bishop, then Metropolitan Archbishop, and finally Cardinal, Adam Sapieha (1867-1951), who was your protector and father in the priesthood and predecessor in the See of Cracow. (For the history that follows see Georges Castellan Dieu garde la Pologne, Histoire du catholicisme polonais, 1795-1980 - Laffont, 1981. Most of the information, however, comes from manuscript sources.)

Roman Dmowski, Polish deputy at the Duma in Petrograd, had written an admirable book entitled Germany, Russia and the Polish Question (1908), which was to serve as the programme for Polish Catholic nationalism for half a century. His strength of mind and patriotic courage made him the Maurras of Poland, and at Versailles it was he who first forged the nation’s restoration.

He marked out the path for Poland’s future – a future based on Roman Catholicism, though liberal with regard to the various Eastern traditions. It was necessarily anti-Semitic as a consequence of the intrigues of the three million Jews then occupying Poland, who refused to be assimilated and who were ever casting an eye towards the Germany of Wilhelm II and towards Bolshevism He welcomed the Polish Russian alliance and advocated renouncing, at least provisionally, Poland’s claim to Lithuanian, Ruthenian and Gallican lands to the west of Russia. With regard to Prussia, however, he was very firm and laid claim to Silesia and Pomerania, both east and west, as being essential for Poland’s equilibrium. This was “ the Piast option ”.

His party, the Democratic Union, succeeded, at the time of the constitutive elections of 1919 and the legislative elections in 1922, in uniting all Catholic Poland and all the clergy. I was glad to learn from a witness, who has since died, Jan Bielatowicz, head of the Mlodziez Wszechpolska, the nationalist youth movement at Cracow, that in 1938 you subscribed to the youth section of this nationalist league, but sad to learn that shortly afterwards you deserted his movement for other commitments...

Josef Pildsuski (1867-1935) is regarded by the ignorant as a great soldier and a patriotic hero, when he was in fact the Lenin of Poland, Satan’s instrument in the history of your country. Filled with ambition and without faith, a machiavellian condottiere, he entered militant politics as the sworn enemy of what he called “ Polish chauvinism ”. In 1899 he abjured Catholicism and became a Protestant so that he could marry a divorcee, according to Russian legislation, and from then until his death he was the Church’s relentless enemy. Being a Mason, he first played the German card in an attempt to rouse the Poles to revolt against he Russians in 1908, starting from Austria. Unlike Dmowski, whom he detested, he advocated the “ Jagellon option ” with a view to forging an immense polono-lithuano-ukranian confederation to the detriment of Tzarist Russia. To this end, he turned to the Germany of Wilhelm II for support and to Jewish opinion within Poland and throughout the world.

His skilful manoeuvring from 1920 to 1921 and then his coup d’état of May 1926 ended in freemasonry taking power, together with his socialist party, and the Church being placed in subjection. His successors, Colonel Beck and President Rydzl-Smigly, deliberately provoked religious conflict, burning down Orthodox churches and forcibly polonising the Lithuanians. They also provoked war by associating themselves with Nazi Germany in the dismembering of Czechoslovakia, which ended in the catastrophe of 1939, the result of masonry’s wicked and senseless policy.

Adam Sapieha. During his forty years as Bishop of Cracow (1911-1951), the metropolitan Archbishop Prince Adam Sapieha was Poland’s real guide for both church and nation. He had been appointed Bishop of Cracow by St. Pius X’s personal decision, having first been the Pope’s intimate friend for six years whilst his personal chaplain and then secret chamberlain. He was also close to Cardinal della Chiesa, the future Benedict XV.

A Polish prince from an old Lithuanian family, related to the Jagellons, he was one of Roman Dmowski’s firmest supporters from the time of the restoration of Poland’s unity. In the 1922 elections, he presented himself as a candidate for the Democratic Union, as did the Latin Archbishop of Lvov, Teodorowicz. Such action seemed quite normal to them because in their territories, recently annexed by Austria, the princes of the Church were senators by right. They were both elected, but Pius XI obliged them to renounce their mandate as deputies, which they did.

Pius XI had less love for Poland than he had for Germany, and even less love for Dmowski’s national Catholic union than he had for Pildsuski’s masonic socialism. It was a disconcerting and painful page of our history that was being opened at that time. I say our history because similar dramas broke out in France, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere, as a result of this Pope’s options. Pius XI had contracted such a hatred for Prince-Bishop Sapieha that he publicly vowed never to make him a cardinal, despite the fact that Cracow was a cardinal’s see. Even though he was promoted archbishop under the terms of the Concordat in 1925, Msgr. Sapieha still had to suffer this humiliation until 1946 when he was finally given the red hat by Pius XII.

Why was this ? Whilst he was papal nuncio at Warsaw, Achille Ratti had shown himself to be pro-German. Thus during the plebiscite of 1920, he had demanded silence of the Silesian clergy, whilst their bishop, Msgr. Bertram, a German patriot, preached in favour of German annexation. In 1921, the entire Polish clergy were so sick at heart of all this that they sent a delegation of three bishops to Benedict XV requesting the nuncio’s withdrawal. Their request was granted, but in the following year their enemy was made Pope !

At a deeper level, Pius XI was a democrat, a philoSemite, a Germanophile and a Europeanist, whereas Sapieha was a nationalist, a monarchist, a Slavophile, anti-German, anti-Semitic and anti-Bolshevik, not with hatred but for reasons of faith and patriotism.

Pius Xl’s predilections were to have disastrous consequences for France as well as for Poland. At the time of Pildsuski’s coup d’état in May 1926, the National Union had risen against him, and the Catholics of Undecja had taken to arms. Parish priests refused to allow the fusiliers of the socialist legions to enter their churches. The Counter-Revolution was assured of success in a country where the Church is all-powerful. But on May 28 Pius XI sent his blessing to the new government to have emerged from the coup d’état. In June, he appointed Msgr. Hlond as Archbishop of Gniezo and Primate of Poland, naming him cardinal the following year, in order to break the national Catholic resistance supported by the Archbishop of Cracow.

Catholic Action, founded by the Jesuits in 1927 on the orders of Pius XI, far from rivalling the Socialist youth movements, will support the government and will be mainly concerned, as in France and everywhere else, with stopping recruitment to the leagues of the Catholic nationalist Right. By 1934 the Left had become dominant in the Church of Poland, to the point that the socialist and masonic Constitution of 1935 restored her freedom and her property.

There was a rear-guard action for the honour of the Church when Pildsuski died unrepentant and was carried for burial by atheists, Freemasons, Jews and Socialists to the royal crypt of the Wawel cathedral in Cracow, where they staged a disgraceful demonstration. The Archbishop did not rest until he had obtained the removal of the body from the crypt, and he refused to allow a religious funeral. Rome, on the other hand, wanted him to yield. But he stood by his refusal to allow a Church funeral for a renegade, a freemason and a persecutor of the Church. A compromise was found, and he was buried in the crypt of the Silver Bell Tower, unconsecrated ground, where he presumably still is...

During those forty years of Socialist dictatorship, your country underwent extraordinary manipulation at the hands of the freemasons – something that is never mentioned nowadays. This was especially true of Cracow, which for the past two centuries had been and still is a masonic stronghold. It is also forgotten how much the Catholic university of Lublin was a masonic stronghold, which accounts for its recognition by the Polish government from its foundation in 1933, thanks to American funds.

There passed the four atrocious years of the German occupation. The nuncio Cortesi, Cardinal Hlond and the members of the government all fled at the very first news of the Polish army’s defeat. (Carlo Falconi, Le Silence de Pie XII. p.128, Rocher, 1965). There was no one left in Warsaw to direct the Church of Poland, to comfort a devastated people and to stand up to the Germans. So, Prince-Archbishop Sapieha naturally became his country’s regent. His conduct then was so noble, firm and wise that the entire nation recognised itself in him. This is how your friend Malinski relates it:

“ His slender figure was known throughout Poland, to the general government as well as to the territories annexed to the Reich and the Soviet Union. His austere classical features and prominent nose were dark as if sunburnt; his white hair was close-cropped. Famous for his courageous resistance to the Germans in defence of the Polish and Jewish populations, and for aiding all who were poorest or most threatened, he was regarded as the head of the Polish nation in both religious and secular matters. ” (Malinski, Pope John Paul II. The Life of My Friend Karol Wojtyla, p.51. Burns and Oates 1979)

Always and of necessity anti-German, it should not be forgotten that he was still more anti-Bolshevik. It took all his authority and courage to forbid the ringing of King Sigismund’s royal bell to greet the arrival of the Soviet “ liberators ”. For him, it was a matter of one occupier chasing out another, the latest arrivals being even worse persecutors moreover. There was no cause to put out the flags. But that is something your friend does not relate, just as he does not relate Cardinal Sapieha’s fight against the sovietisation decided by the sinister Bierut in 1949. In this he was one with Cardinal Wyszynski. Together, they drove firm and prudent bargains with the Communist powers.

In 1946, Pius XII at last repaired Rome’s injustice by making him a cardinal. And when he died in 1951 he was given a state funeral by the Polish state. The austere Msgr. Baziak who succeeded him followed exactly the same line. This former Latin Metropolitan of Lvov, evicted from Ruthenia when the Soviets annexed the territory, was a man of less breadth, and he knew it, but his religion and his politics were no different and they held sway in his diocese until he died in 1962. His internment, together with Cardinal Wyszynski, in 1952 is sufficient evidence of the correctness of both his doctrine and action.

It was Msgr. Adam Sapieha, therefore, the wise, courageous, holy archbishop, friend of Pius X, who singled you out as an ardent, pious child, full of promise. It was he who, from afar, watched over your student years. It was he who opened his arms and his heart, as well as his purse, to you during those years. He wanted you to have the very best formation and he sent you to Rome and enabled you to travel in Europe, especially France, to gain a wider knowledge of the Church. It was he who got you off to such a good start in your ecclesiastical career, where a colt without a trainer never gets anywhere, that is for sure.

In your friend Malinski’s memoirs, one senses that both you and he had no familiarity, no intellectual, spiritual, or human affinity with him. Because he was too much the grand seigneur ? As you remarked one day, in a truly distasteful reflection (George Blazynski, John Paul II. A Man from Cracow, p.141-142 - Stock, 1979. See the English CRC editions for April, May and June 1983). But the really profound reasons lie elsewhere. Sapieha was faithful to his Catholic nationalist convictions and to the men of old popular Poland, whilst you were not. There is where the break lies and nowhere else.


So what had you become since that autumn of 1938 when you set out from Wadowice for the big city of Cracow to enrol at the prestigious Jagellon university ? Your biographers, all favourable to their hero, afford us only a superficial knowledge. And there is no break to be seen in your conduct either. There is a break, however – but where, and what is it ? At first I had thought it was the meeting with Jan Tyranowski, when he enticed you into his bizarre sectarian mysticism tinged with secular humanism, that had diverted you from the traditional path. It is not so much my readers who corrected me here as the testimony of your own life that made everything plain.

You were the plaything – and I mean plaything – of two occult forces, whose willing prisoner you still remain. The first and more serious force captivated you because of your great love for the theatre. Yes, theatre people love illusion and life in the unreal; they imagine themselves in turns to be charmers, overlords, magicians and creators of invisible worlds, communicating with telluric forces, the cosmos and the future… And they are always passionately loved, the idols of the masses. Indeed your friend and master, Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk, was one such baneful initiate and initiator. And he, at that time, was a disciple of the theosophist Rudolf Steiner.


It is said that your passion for the theatre was so keen, even at Wadowice, that the idea of becoming a priest left you indifferent. And even then Kotlarczyk was your “ old friend ” (Malinski. p.16). Hardly a year had elapsed before Kotlarczyk founded his Rhapsodic Theatre, of which you were the leading and principal actor. Before long, you were lodging in your own house him who liked to be called “ the master of the word ” and even “ archpriest ”, whose actors were the priests of this strange religion, which you explained to Malinski in terms that seemed excessive even to him. Your favourite poem at that time was Norwid’s Promethidion. The theatre for you became a creative liturgy, analogous to that other liturgy, the Church’s, where the actor is the demiurge, the mediator through the magic of the Word… All this of course might be no more than an exaggerated youthful passion for the boards. But no !

It was an initiation which you have never repudiated. To be convinced of this, one needs to be in possession of some revealing document such as the anthroposophic revue Triades, “ A Review of human culture inspired by the teaching of Rudolf Steiner ”, whose of offshoot, the “ Paul Coroze Youth Foundation ”, was recognised for its public utility service by decree of… Georges Pompidou in 1972, thus enabling it to receive tax free gifts and bequests. That is a sure way of recognising masonic organisations in our secular republic. Now, here is an article dating from the autumn of 1980 entitled What is the place of the Pope in the modern world in 1980 ? written by one Christian Leclercq.

It is an article that reeks of esotericism and freely talks of putting an end to all ideas of the past and to all “ ancient cultural values ”. It urges us to “ overcome our dualist vision, which consists in opposing good and evil, God and the devil, in an exterior way, as though man were no more than an onlooker, owing his salvation to being granted the Lord’s good graces. ”

“ Now, it is up to man to free himself, and to do this he must take an active part in the thick of the conflict dividing him. He must develop the interior strength to enable him to find the balance between the two tendencies inclining him to error: Lucifer and Ahrimane. These ideas are alien to the Catholic Church.

“ Such a prospect gives little grounds for envisaging the existence of the Catholic Church being perpetuated in its present form. The present day, however, invites us to consider the personality and action of one such as John Paul II. ”

Paul VI had expressed “ his feeling of inadequacy when faced with the heavy task which fell to him. ” John Paul I had shown himself incapable of it. Then John Paul II appeared, “ led to the pontificate under the sign of Michael ”… Whereupon this article suddenly becomes extremely important. I shall quote it almost in its entirety:

“ The first Polish Pope, the first Slav pontiff, Karol Wojtyla, become John Paul II, breaks with a four hundred and fifty year old succession of Italian popes. Apart from his nationality, his personal qualities and his universal character are also surprising. One does not find in him the vulnerability of John Paul I, nor the awkwardness of our heads of state, nor even the dogmatic attitude of the Church. The pure stream of childhood courses his veins, but it is fortified by a life bound up with his people’s destiny. Rather than withdraw from the world, he has plunged into the thick of every day conflict, thus forging a will which he places at the service of morality and of knowledge. ”

The vocabulary is gnostic, esoteric. But it is still no more than the opinion and judgement of its author rather than yours. Unfortunately, we come to facts, writings and proofs, which show you to be more than just a close friend but an initiate. You are a member of Rudolf Steiner’s Theosophy sect:

“ Clandestinely he became one of the first actors to ally himself with the ‘ Rhapsodic Theatre ’… and in the conflict then raging, he had recourse to the unique and legitimate weapon, the word. Through his commitment to stage art and the art of the word, Karol Wojtyla was led to write his own plays and this brought him into contact with Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk, whose friend he became. Together, the two friends worked on the art of the choral word as a new element in stage art. In this work, Kotlarczyk relied not only on Polish romanticism, but also on the mystics of both East and West and on Rudolf Steiner and his Goetheanum at Dornach. Convinced of its power ( !), he cultivated the word, the Logos as John the Evangelist called it (enough of that !).

“ There can be no doubt that he had a great influence on Karol Wojtyla, who, when already Cardinal Archbishop of Cracow, wrote an introduction to Kotlarczyk’s book “ The Art of the Living Word ”, in which he revealed (sic) his thoughts. Thus it is that, from an exceptional confidence in the word, Karol Wojtyla cultivated the strength and simplicity of his language very early (I retain this “ very early ” because it might signal to the initiates the date of your initiation) seeing it as a possible way of arousing the sense of brotherhood among men ( !):

“ A group of people of one mind subject to the poetic word (sic) assumes an ethical significance – the significance of solidarity in the Word (sic !) and of loyalty with regard to the Word. ”

I would rather not interrupt this revelation of your panhuman esotericism with its Christian veneer by making any comment, so I shall continue with this fascinating discovery of your occult personality.

“ This culture of language is to be found in the speeches he gives today, not only in the formulation of the words but also in the intonation of the voice, and each time what he says is in harmony with the circumstances of the place he is visiting – Mexico, Poland, Ireland, the United States, Turkey, Africa, France or Brazil. And each time his words overstep all constraint (meaning dogmatic) and all protocol (meaning ecclesiastical) so that his comprehension (masonic key word) and interest in men (masonic philanthropy) enable him to meet each of these peoples in their own capacity (that is, among all these peoples, the brothers of the local lodges) with his particular attention turned not so much towards respect for the Church’s institutions but more especially towards all men in general (so we were not imagining things...).

“ He qualified his visit to France as being made under a sign (not the sign of the Cross) ‘ the sign of peace, trust, love and faith ’, qualifying this (lest the brothers fear that this refers to faith in Jesus Christ !) as ‘ faith in God but also in man ’. His trust in man is particularly evident from the remarks he then made:

“ Where religious institutions have been suppressed, where ideas and work born of religious inspiration, in particular of Christian inspiration, have been deprived of their freedom (by victorious freemasonry, no ?), men rediscover anew (the new humanism, the new profane culture) the same fundamental ideas (a phrase which excludes the idea of revelation or that of the supernatural life) outside the institutional paths (through occult, informal organisations), through the confrontation (masonic and in the lodge) which takes place in truth and through interior effort (or degree of initiation) between what constitutes their humanity and what is contained in the Christian message. ”

“ Man in search of the spirit at the centre of himself and who, through interior effort, rediscovers the values of the Christic message living within his heart, is a fact which testifies to its author’s having outstripped the passive attitude characteristic of the Church’s dualistic vision (one cannot fail to agree with Christian Leclercq: such a man has gone beyond the Christian faith and has entered into theosophical gnosis). With confidence in the word on the one hand and in man on the other, his declarations no longer have the appearance of sermons but are rather hymns to man’s dignity. Such is his intervention on the subject of human work:

“ …I know that work is also a necessity and sometimes a harsh necessity, and yet mar desires to transform this necessity so that it may measure up to his dignity and his love Therein lies his greatness. ”

“ It is in the same spirit that he approaches the questions of culture and of education, wherein he recognises (a preoccupation characteristic of Steiner’s theosophical sect) mankind’s spiritual heritage which feeds the social organism and must therefore be defended: ‘ …Do not allow this fundamental sovereignty ’ – culture – ‘ to become a prey to any political or economic interest. Do not allow it to fall victim to any totalitarianism, imperialism or hegemony where man is only a number and not the subject of his own human existence. ’

“ Completing the tableau of social life with the assertion of human rights, he presents a finished picture which in many respects conforms to the social tripartition advocated by Rudolf Steiner, insisting here on the trinity (sic) of the French motto (sic): ‘ Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ’.

“ Recognising in the young the necessary strength of enthusiasm to incarnate and carry these ideas, he turns to them with particular attention in order to encourage them to ‘ unmask the false values of these times ’ (but in so saying, you never unmask freemasonry, Communism or any of their offshoots and dogmas). His close association with the young is revealed in these two lines from one of his poems:

‘ The Young are seeking a way,
All roads lead to my heart. ’

“ Or again consider the spontaneity of his answers to the questions put to him on his return to Rome: ‘ What was your best moment in France ? ’ Answer: ‘ All my encounters were different and each one brought a different satisfaction. But the meeting with the young people – that was very nice ! ’ (Triades, Autumn 1983, No 1, p.82-86)

It seems beyond contestation that forty years ago, when you were barely twenty years old, you became a Steinerian. The Steinerian influence is blindingly obvious and it gives an entirely different tenor to your humanist speeches, which are heard by the faithful in their millions and by priests and bishops, who hear without listening and who attribute their confused style and obscure boldness to your ‘ Germano-Slav ’ genius, alien to the Latin peoples. But it is not really that at all ! You were imprudent enough, Karol Wojtyla, to consent to writing, when you were already a cardinal, a preface to a theosophical book by your friend and master, Kotlarczyk ! Needless to say, this preface does not figure among your collected works.

Steiner’s form of Christianity, for the sake of which he parted from the German theosophical society whose president he was, is a cosmic, non-dogmatic and, of course, evolutionist one. It involves initiation into the occult arts, thereby putting its devotees in touch with dark forces, which it calls “ guiding spirits ”, and facilitating the exercise of “ thought outside the body ” ! The means for spreading Steinerian theosophy were, and still are, the theatre, poetry, especially the recitation of poetry in conjunction with an almost static dance, “ eurythmia ”. Lastly, and most importantly, it is spread through the education of the young.

What is more, which would explain an amazing side of your Person and of your preaching, Steiner had a quite extraordinary theory of sexuality – a mitigated form of Catharism. He advocated the practice of “ etheric ” as opposed to physical love and promoted white marriages of a keen, because spiritual, eroticism. This would procure for its adepts the supreme energy reserved to lovers who, through a rare form of self-mastery, remain chaste even at the most ardent moment of love. The system is accompanied by a veritable form of worship with seven sacraments, one of which is entitled the “ act of consecration of man ”. The friend who has supplied me with all this information tells me that in Switzerland Catholic bishops and priests allow their churches to be used by Steiner’s disciples for the practice of their apparently Christian, and certainly ecumenical, cult.

“ The renunciation of bodily union on earth is a preparation for that union in spirit and truth that exists only beyond the Threshold"… I read this in the same edition of Triades, under the title, “ Claudel’s Satin Slipper and the manifestations of Karma ” together with a quotation from Buddha: “ To be unable to join with those one loves is to suffer. ”

There are reflections here which would meet with your disapproval only because of their excessively and obviously gnostic form. This for example: “ The fact of renouncing physical love by means of a privation not imposed from without, which would be merely frustrating, but as a freely accepted sacrifice, can be a decisive factor in interior progress. ” Is not this the Eros, conjugal or extra-conjugal, which you tirelessly preach ?

And this reflection, which I hesitate to quote, so revealing of you is it: “ A greatness of a work – any artistic work – proceeds from the spiritual substance to be found therein, often unknown to the artist himself. This substance, when it “ touches ”, that is to say, reaches the innermost core of a person confronting the work of art, is always linked to the superior Me, and in some way manifests the hidden laws of Karma. The artist’s divination, his permeability to superior realities, proceeds from the fact that his dream life is more intense and more active than that of other men. And these interior perceptions that haunt him are expressed in his works. Now, these works are coloured partly by the artist’s own karmic antecedents and partly by the common situation of the period in general. ” Is not that your prophetism ?

Yes, that is the secret of your “ prayer ”, of your transcendental “ meditations ”, of your unending “ hymns ” to sexual love and Life, to the culture, wisdom and glory of Man !


The other circle to which you linked your destiny, and which you have never denied, is that of Tygodnik Powszerchny, the only Catholic newspaper to be authorised in Poland, and one of the most intelligent and remarkable, moreover. But, first of all, how is it that the Communist and ecclesiastical powers collaborated in authorising, and even supporting, this publication ? Here is the whole story.

In 1945 the Communists wished to disguise their monopoly of the press by giving the appearance of pluralism, and so they brought into being a Catholic newspaper. For this purpose, they entered into contact with the youth group Bunt Mlodyck (The Revolt of Youth) and with Polityka, the local paper of the pre-war ‘ White ’ party in Cracow, neo-conservatives of Masonic and Pildsuskist tendency, who were, moreover, supporters of Colonel Beck’s pro-German policy. This group immediately founded not one newspaper, but two: one for the West and one for the East. The Western publication Kultura was started by Geidroyc, former editor-in-chief of the Paris publication of Polityka read by mostly Jewish Polish émigrés, subsidised by the United States under cover of Radio-Free Europe ! and skilfully anti-Catholic (cf. Pologne 1980-1982. Ombres et lumières, by Dr. Kozanecki - Narodowiec, F62302 Lens). The Eastern publication, Tygodnik Powszerchny, was based in Cracow, and its editor-in-chief was Jerzy Turowicz, of Polish and Jewish descent, who was a member of the IDOC International during the Council and who was a co-founder of the Znak group, ostensibly in opposition to the Pax movement, thus giving the impression of not being in cahoots with Communism and avoiding the revelation of its Masonic attachments.

These two newspapers fraternise across the Iron Curtain. They are discreetly Modernist, open and liberal, Teilhardist and one-worldist. The touchstone is that they never miss an opportunity to discredit Dmowski and his historic work or to exalt the memory of Pildsuski. Just as our so-called Catholic press in France will never miss an opportunity to insult Maurras and Action Française, whilst praising the memory of Jaures and Mendès on every possible occasion.

From its inception, you were in contact with Tygodnik Powszerchny, firstly as a student delegate of the theology faculty at the Jagellon university and before long as vice-president of the students’ association, the famous Bratniak. Cardinal Sapieha, for want of being able to do something better, also favoured the creation of such a newspaper, and he hoped that by delegating priests of firm faith and high intelligence to it he might preserve in it a truly Catholic spirit. Here again, as always, his thoughts turned to you for he placed the highest hopes in your evident capability. Thus it was that you fell under the influence of Jerzy Turowicz. On your return from Rome, you contributed to his newspaper writing two kinds of articles. Under your own name, you wrote articles of philosophy and ethics; under the pseudonym of Andrzej Jawien you wrote literary, poetic and lyrical works, of a quite esoteric character it must be said.

On being made an auxiliary bishop, you became the paper’s effective protector. You made “ discreet contacts with the authorities on its behalf ” on several different occasions More seriously still, you exempted it from all ecclesiastical control, which your predecessor had firmly maintained, and you dispensed with the need for it to bear the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur. (Blazynski, p.167)

I imagine that the readers of Tygodnik Powszerchny in Poland are convinced that in the Znak group they have the correct Catholic antidote to the agitation of the Pax movement. The fact is, however, that the Znak group, being opportunistic and progressivist, effectively rallied the Church to the Communist power, without too much concern for methods or religion. It had an anti-Trotskyite and anti-Jewish section, which led to the murder of Piasecki’s son in 1978. His murderers, whose names are known, fled to Israel.

Clearly, the justified animosity roused against Pax, who were on the Red side, favoured recruitment from Znak and KIK, the party led by your friend Tadeuz Mazwiecki, the White party. Does this mean that they worked in defence of the Catholic faith and in the interests of the Church ? I am not so sure. I fear that their aim may have been no different from that of their eternal ally, the Kultura group – that of KOR and of that writer who suddenly sprang to worldwide fame, Adam Michnick – which is to infiltrate the Catholic mass movement, Solidarnosc, in order to take control of Poland, renewing the successful venture of Pildsuski. One would like to see the Polish Pope aware of this and expressing his disapproval of it.

So you passed your formative years in the intimate company of the Jan Tyranowski, the disturbing lay mystic, Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk, the Steinerian theosophical initiate, and Jerzy Turowicz, a liberal who was open to Masonic ideas – all before going onto Lublin University to study Max Scheler !


Your appointment as auxiliary bishop dates from 1958, and your appointment as Vicar Capitular, on the death of Msgr. Baziak, dates from June 1962. You were then the youngest diocesan administrator in the whole of Poland, and then, in 1968, at the age of forty-eight, you became Metropolitan Archbishop of Cracow. Which means that for twenty years you had complete independence to govern the pastoral direction of this pilot diocese. Your biographers all agree that you made changes, without being able to define them precisely.

The biographers generally present your activity at Cracow as something new added to the old, a sort of “ extra heating ” bringing apostolic, militant and pious ardour to a high degree of spontaneity and creativity. Instead of routine, there was zeal, enthusiasm and disinterestedness... The paralytic was made to walk and the cripple threw away his crutches. (Cf. the English CRC for April, May and June 1983).

A close reading of the documents will reveal something else. That it was not a superficial reformism but a profound change. One dare not call it a change of religion, but it was a change in the “ living ” of that religion. It is not that the label on the bottle became more attractive, but the contents changed. Contrary to what empty-minded people might think, when launching a new product, the manufacturer often prefers to keep the old name and label so as not to lose the confidence of his clientele.

Here we have a very young bishop succeeding to two venerable Prince-Bishops of the old school – that of St. Pius X, anti-Modernist and anti-democrat, it must be said. A philosophy professor, an intellectual, succeeds two ecclesiastics attached to their dogmas, canon law, liturgy and popular traditions. Is it the useful religion that will change ? No, it is the feeling of the utility of religion that will change. Everything hinges not on the articles of the Creed, but on the very first word, on the very first act: Credo.

Until your arrival, the metropolitan archbishop of Cracow shared exactly the same faith as his people. Religion was a necessity. It was imposed on all alike, believers and unbelievers, good and bad, because God is the Master of our existence. He created and redeemed us, washed us in the waters of Baptism and so enrolled us as faithful Christians and submissive members of His Church. There was no shilly-shallying if one remained a Catholic. Everyone knew that this life is a difficult passage, a time of trial, and a “ valley of tears ”, where one must pray much, as people had always prayed, do penance, suffer, carry one’s cross, conquer sin, fear hell and die fortified by the sacraments of the Church, so that finally one might go to Heaven, the unique object of all our works.

Because this life is not easy – and for countless other moral, political and historical reasons – there are always large numbers of people who live on the fringes of the Church, or who reject it altogether and are hostile. It is necessary to live with these people, however, without suffering their influence – though sometimes suffering their persecution – for their influence must always be combated if we are to preserve the sacred rights of the Catholic religion, as we wish to do. And so at Cracow, there were deeply entrenched Jews and freemasons, apostates, public sinners and the excommunicated. And now there were the Communists, a new scourge, monopolising all the good places in society since the war.

Life had gone on thus for a thousand years ! And yet, in the midst of it all, people had worked out their salvation. It was a closed, stagnant society, turned in on itself and its certitudes, rites, mores and customs, and locked up in its age-old or recent conflicts, all of which were insoluble. And yet the people groaned and prayed, fought and hoped that one day political and social authority would again be restored to Christ the King and to Mary, Queen of Poland, and that the liberty and exaltation of holy Church and the unanimity of Catholic Poland would at last be recovered with the conversion of the infidels.

You took up your position of responsibility in this locked-up Church, but you brought to it the contrary idea of a free, open, fraternal society: Utopia. Certainly, you belonged to the country, and its way of living, thinking and feeling is one that you could fully assume. You could play your role as bishop with ease and happiness for you knew it down to its least ancestral obligations. But your dream was to metamorphose this institution from top to bottom. To this end you will inspire it with love and simplicity, spontaneity and freedom – freedom in everyone’s relationship with you and in yours with all. You will change life from grey to rose. You will breath into it consideration for human values and individual dignity, hitherto forgotten, neglected or even frowned upon. You will inspire respect for freedom of conscience and of action, for the diversity of each particular situation, for the richness and importance of personal action, of responsible commitment, of the present moment, of life on this earth and of the existence of all...

Instead of living here below for Heaven, of loving God through fear of hell and of loving one’s neighbour out of respect for God, you will begin to teach people to live on this earth for its own sake, now, in this present time, loving each man for his own humanity and not waiting until the hereafter before rejoicing in being fully alive and loving. Instead of preaching duty, the law of God, the authority of superiors, dedication to the common good through tithe and tax, political commitment and the sacrifice of one’s own blood, you will prefer to show the other side of things... You will teach people that they can live just as well, better in fact, through respecting each man’s individual rights and fulfilment as the will of God ! You will invite them to be free, to create material and cultural goods, to enrich man and society, rather than harp on about the virtues of suffering, poverty and renunciation. “ Joy and Hope ”, as the Council will entitle its Declaration on the Church in the Modern World, rather than “ sadness and anguish ” !

And so we have to make peace with others, be reconciled to the world as it is and abandon this obsessive idea of re-conquering society for Christ the King and Mary the Queen. On the contrary, recognise your opponent’s sincerity and the partial truth that exists in his ideas, for not all is false. Do not judge everything by reference to Heaven and Hell, of which nothing concrete is known. Rather, judge by reference to peace, justice, love and culture in the present day human, earthly social context, with a view to the progress of society.

In fact, a systematic analysis of your writings and of your speeches soon showed me that this substitution of one form of existence for another, of a humanist pastoral approach for a strictly religious one, of an ethic of freedom, happiness and solidarity for one of submission, renunciation and sacrifice, was far from innocent. It was the putting into operation, the praxis to use the word you favour, of a new anthropology. And you were fully aware that this substitution would entail a complete overturning of theology and of religion. In place of this obsessive theocentrism you would substitute a conscious and deliberate anthropocentrism, even that of the atheists, agnostics, Hegelians and Marxists among whom we have to live. At the same time, we have to establish this humanism at the centre of the Christian faith and make it an immense act of homage to God and His Christ, liberators of Man and not his exploiters !

The priests and faithful of Cracow were obviously a thousand leagues from suspecting anything of the sort. There must have been, however, a few lucid minds and the odd penetrating look that could read you, but their voices were stifled. You were praised for your natural qualities, allied to such great piety. And gradually the world would extol you as the man of providence – not the theorist of an atheistic, humanist revolution, of course not ! but as the man who would notably succeed in bringing the reform of the Church to its realisation, the success of which was guaranteed in advance.

The Council arrived opportunely. The novelty of Cracow was going to meet the novelty of Rome and of the whole Church. It was even going to direct the latter !