In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS101 the sanctuary ofhis palace. Thanks to the activities of Sapieha and many others, Nazi efforts to change the Poles into slaves by eliminating their elites and destroying their culture did not succeed. The prelate never believed in Adolf Hitler's final triumph. He expressed such views in his letters to the Holy Father, skilfully smuggled out of occupied Poland. Once the war was over, the archbishop (a staunch enemy of communism) showed an unusual pragmatism and flexibility with the new Moscowsponsored rulers of Poland. In the first years in power, the Polish communists (some 30,000 firm believers in the communist bliss in a predominantly Catholic society of about 24 millions) felt isolated and tolerated the Catholic Church. Once firmly in control, however, the Polish Stalinists became increasingly totalitarian . Apparently, as Czajowski writes, they even envisaged putting Sapieha on a show trial. He himself did not exclude such an eventuality. Following his death on July 23, 1951, an even tougher line against the Catholic Church was adopted, and it was to last until October, 1956, when a softer team, headed by Ladislas Gomulka (1956-1970), himself a victim of Stalinist purges, assumed power in Poland. Returning to Sapieha, Pius XII fully approved of his virtual leadership of the Polish Catholic Church under the Nazis and made him a cardinal in 1946. One should add that during one of his pastoral visits prior to World War II, Sapieha spotted at Wadowice (a small town in southern Poland) a young and brilliant high-school student. He took him under his wings under Nazi rule,and once the war was over, the futureJohn Paul II (ordained priest in 1945) was sent to Rome for advanced theological studies. Czajowski's study is good, interesting, though certainly not free from factual errors and tiresome repetitions. As the study was not editied with adequate care, the final touch is missing. The study under review can only be considered to be an introduction to a solid scholarly work. The Vatican and other nonPolish archives will have to be examined to produce something good and lasting . Cardinal Sapieha served faithfully and with zeal the Catholic Church and the Polish nation. He fully deserves that such an effort be undertaken. Adam A. Hetnal The Higher School ofEducation in Kielce (Poland) Nihil Obstat:Religion, Politics, and Social Change in East-Central Europe and Russia. By Sabrina P. Ramet. (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 1998. Pp. xi, 424. $69.95 hardcover; $23.95 paperback.) Sabrina R Ramet, professor of international studies at the University of Washington, has written an interesting book on the relationship between church and state in communist and post-communist countries. The focus is on Christian churches in Russia, Ukraine,Yugoslavia, East Germany, Poland, Czech 102BOOK REVIEWS Republic, Slovakia,Hungary,Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania. The study demolishes a series ofmyths regarding religion in Russia and East Central Europe,which persist to this day. The author shows that the Communists failed to annihilate religion , that not all religious ministers were heroic characters, that the Communist governments geared religious policies to specific churches and conditions, and, finally, that not all Communist policies were bad for religion. The book examines at length the Evangelical Church in Germany; the Orthodox Churches in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria,Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania; the UnĂ­ate Catholic Church in Ukraine; the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Albania; the new evangelism sweeping Eastern and Central Europe; and the political background of church-state relations throughout Eastern Europe and Russia. Ramet carefully describes religious-political interaction , explains the paradox of strong religious life in post-communist countries, and then reveals the dilemma and opportunity which churches now face: they no longer confront an easily identifiable demon in the Communist regimes and are free to expand, that is, nothing stands in their way, but they find themselves facing a gray, amorphous reality of seemingly infinite moral complexity. Nearly half of the chapters in the book have been previously published in journals or collections, but the new writing, combined with the convenience of placing scattered writings in one place, makes the book a solid contribution to the history ofchurch-state relations...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 101-102
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.