Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 27, No 1 (2008)

The Polish Church and John Paul II’s Evangelization Mission in Slavic Countries

Zbigniew Stachowski
Issued Date: 19 Aug 2008


Pope John Paul not only used his roots in Slavic culture for the political development of the Church, but gave a theological justification for the role he carved out for Poland. He saw Poland as “the chosen nation” for direct Church mission. In this article, I examine both Wojtyla’s theology of the Slavic “nations” and the specific role of the Polish people in his theory. I will survey the so-called “outstanding historic mission” of the Polish church in the re-Christianizing of Central and Eastern Europe…history for him was read in the light of the Gospel, which he believed provided a “hermeneutic
key” to both world and human history. I argue that the Pope wished to extend this vision to all Slavic nations as a way of encouraging a Christian destiny “from the Atlantic to the Urals.” In my final assessment I note that this missionary vision of Pope John Paul II proved to be unsuccessful.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v27i1.115


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