The relations between the Catholic Church in Belarus and the Church in Poland in 1946-1990
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The author discusses basic issues of the relations between the Catholic Church in Belarus and the Catholic Church in Poland in 1946-1990, providing numerous examples of assictance rendered by the Church in Poland for their fellow believers in Belarus. The article emphasizes an extraordinary role played by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski who pointed out to the over-national character of the Catholic Church, the importance of a family as 'home church' and the place to teach patriotism. The Catholic Church in Poland did not only support the Catholic Church in Belarus but also acted as an intermediary in its contacts with the Vatican, passing on information and guidelines coming from the Vatican: among other things, in 1956 about canonic changes in the Church life and activity. These contacts reinforced at the beginning of the 1960s, despite their unofficial or often even secret/underground nature, in connection with the II Vatican Council. The author emphasizes that the authorities in USSR and Poland monitored the Churches activity and made the contacts between them difficult. Therefore, private visits and broader contacts of inhabitants of the border areas of both countries were put to a good use. These contacts became semi-official only from the time of 'perestroika' - the middle of the 1980s, which apart from priesthood support allowed to extend humanitarian aid as well. At the end of the 1980s the contacts between the Churches were already official, in 1989 Cardinal Józef Glemp - successor of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, visited Grodno. In the author's opinion assistance provided by the Catholic Church in Poland to restore religious life in Belarus was significant indeed.
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