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  #1  
Old 29th July 2004, 10:06 AM
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Why is Poland Catholic?

Hey guys, I have a question for you. Why is Poland mainly a Catholic country instead of a Orthodox country? I mean Germany is right next to it and they are Protestant, and aren't all the other Eastern European countries around it Orthodox? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 29th July 2004, 10:28 AM
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I found this passing reference in The Orthodox Church - Abp. +KALLISTOS (Ware)

The usual psychological barriers exist. Among Orthodox — and doubtless among Roman Catholics as well — there are a multitude of inherited prejudices which cannot quickly be overcome; and Orthodox do not find it easy to forget the unhappy experiences of the past — such things as the Crusades, the ‘Union’ of Brest-Litovsk, the schism at Antioch in the eighteenth century, or the persecution of the Orthodox Church in Poland by a Roman Catholic government between the two World Wars. Roman Catholics do not usually realize how deep a sense of misgiving and apprehension many devout Orthodox — educated as well as simple — still feel when they think of the Church of Rome.
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  #3  
Old 29th July 2004, 10:28 AM
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Rilian is a glorious beacon of light
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Poland, like Lithuania, was Christianized fairly late. The main reason it is Catholic and not Orthodox is most likely because its missionaries came from the Germanic principalities which represented the Latin branch of the church. Casimir the Great was instrumental in both politically unifying Poland and establishing the church there as we know it today, which lived on even after Poland was partitioned between Prussia, Austro-Hungary and Russia.

There is an Orthodox minority in the country, most notable in the Lemkos. It was through Poland that Catholic influence was spread into the western Ukraine.

Also to note, the lands we call modern Germany today were obviously Catholic up until the time of Luther. After the Reformation they became divided in religion, usually along geographical lines. Germany today I believe is almost evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics, although church attendance is much higher in the Catholic regions.
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Old 29th July 2004, 10:40 AM
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More on the Reformation/Counter-Reformation and it's effect on the Orthodox Church
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  #5  
Old 29th July 2004, 12:20 PM
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I can't remember what they're called, but there's an ethnic/geographical/language group within Poland that is Orthodox. They have their own schools in their native language and everything.

Regarding Germany, I agree with Rilian that it's too simple to call them Protestant. Even if the numbers are 50/50, the Catholic presence there is much more pervasive. Even many of the idiomatic expressions of southern Germany are Catholic in nature, and they have many impressive Catholic churches that have been since the reformation.
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Last edited by ufonium2; 29th July 2004 at 12:49 PM.
  #6  
Old 29th July 2004, 12:40 PM
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Rilian is a glorious beacon of light
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Originally Posted by ufonium2
I can't remember what they're called, but there's an ethnic/geographical/language group within Poland that is Orthodox. I can't remember what they are called, but they have their own schools in their native language and everything.
I'm pretty sure it is the Lemkos. Metropolitan Herman visited some of the traditionally Orthodox areas when he visited Poland.

[Warning to anyone who might be scandalized, Metropolitan Herman actually shook the hand of Cardinal Glemp. Shock, horror, etc., etc.]
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Old 29th July 2004, 05:04 PM
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Czechia (Bohemia, Moravia) was also historically Orthodox (Ss. Cyril and Methodius were sent there and baptized the country) but after the Germanics invaded, that went kaput and today they are majority Roman. Most of the Orthodox Saints of the Czech lands are martyrs due to this. St. Princess Ludmila, St. Prince Wenceslaus, Ss. Rastislav and Boleslav, St. Gorazd II, so forth and so on.
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Old 6th August 2004, 03:10 AM
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Poland is Roman Catholic probably because they choose to be? They could easily conver to other religions if they didn't agree with Catholicism; no?

New Zealand is mostly Protestant; yet there's a diverse range of religions and denominations around...
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