Polskie duchowieństwo rzymskokatolickie wobec cesarza Napoleona i wydarzeń 1812 roku
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The Polish Roman Catholic clergy in relation with the emperor Napoleon and the events in 1812
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The events which took place within the Polish borders in 1812 captured the attention of the Polish Roman Catholic clergy. The atmosphere of those days resembled the one in 1807. The priests inspired from their pulpits the hope for an improvement in the situation of the Church. The Emperor Napoleon was gaining the favor of the crowds. Despite the fact of imprisonment of Pius VII, which only caused the clergy to remain silent, the French ruler was still called by the priests Napoleon the Great and treated as the authentic God’s messenger. The clergy greeted the Emperor’s attendants within the territory of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw by tolling in the church bells. They also did not forget about holding the service for the Emperor with due ceremony. In 1812 three political events came into the interests of the Polish Roman Catholic clergy: the special session of Parliament, establishment of the General Confederation of the Polish Kingdom and the Napoleon’s war with Russia. The opening of the Parliament session met with the religious ceremonies. The priests called for the patriotic attitudes. The clergy of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw placed its access for the General Confederation. The archbishop Ignacy Raczyński played an interesting role during those events by going on holiday abroad. Other bishops turned out to be more involved. During the whole Napoleon’s campaign in Russia the clergymen prayed for the success of the French and Polish army. The information about killed monks in the press could suggest the active participation of the clergy at war. Without any doubt the Grand Duchy of Warsaw’s clergy was engaged a lot in the actions devoted to their motherland, despite the previous disappointment with the country’s policy concerning the Church.
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