Series Editor’s Preface
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Series Editor’s Preface Although the topic of Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland, 1914–1939, might seem to some readers fairly specialized and even arcane, Professor Neal Pease’s study of churchstate affairs in interwar Poland is an original, engaging, and important examination of this central dimension of political and social affairs. Pease unfolds the narrative of a society and polity in the throes of a difficult transition , one abruptly cut short on September 1, 1939. Poland was a fulcrum for forces that moved the politics and foreign policy of both the European Great Powers and the United States at a critical moment in the twentieth century and shaped the contours of the postwar world order for the next fifty years. Gracefully written and meticulously researched, Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter charts the intricate relationship among Poland’s bishops, the Vatican , and the secular and anticlerical Piłsudski regime, even as international politics lurched toward crisis. The Church reached a tenuous arrangement with the Polish strongman, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, based on limited shared interests—the most important of which was halting the westward march of Bolshevism—but also, in large measure, on the personal friendship and mutual respect shared by the Polish general and Monsignor Achille Ratti, the apostolic nuncio to Poland (and future Pope Pius XI). Throughout the period, the Church pursued its own bureaucratic and ideological interests, but as Pease masterfully demonstrates, the former was no monolith, and the latter were far from unitary. The Polish episcopate, itself internally divided , frequently pulled and tugged in different directions from the Vatican over religious (and political) issues like Church-state relations, the evangelization of the Orthodox east, and the future of Poland. Pease portrays Poland’s bishops as complex men of contrasting styles, dispositions, subjectivities , and politics. Through the lens of Church policy, Pease sheds light on Polish-Ukrainian relations, the connection between religion and nationalism in modern Poland, and, of course, a central leitmotif in nineteenthand twentieth-century Polish affairs, the “Jewish Question.” Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter is the tenth volume in the Ohio University Press Polish and Polish-American Studies Series. The series revisits the historical and contemporary experience of one of America’s largest European ethnic groups and the history of a European homeland that has played a disproportionately important role in twentieth-century world affairs . The series publishes innovative monographs and more general works that investigate under- and unexplored topics or offer new, critical, revisionist , or comparative perspectives in the area of Polish and Polish-American Studies. The series seeks manuscripts of interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary profile on Polish immigration and ethnic communities, the country of origin, and its various peoples in history, anthropology, cultural studies, political economy, current politics, and related fields. Publication of the Ohio University Press Polish and Polish-American Studies Series marks a milestone in the maturation of the Polish studies field and stands as a fitting tribute to the scholars and organizations whose efforts have brought it to fruition. Supported by a series advisory board of accomplished Polonists and Polish-Americanists, the Polish and PolishAmerican Studies Series has been made possible through generous financial assistance from the Polish American Historical Association, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America, the Stanislaus A. Blejwas Endowed Chair in Polish and Polish American Studies at Central Connecticut State University, and the Piast Institute and through institutional support from Wayne State University and Ohio University Press. The series meanwhile has benefited from the warm encouragement of a number of other persons, including Gillian Berchowitz, M. B. B. Biskupski, the late Stanislaus A. Blejwas, Mary Erdmans, Thaddeus Gromada, James S. Pula, Thaddeus Radzilowski, and David Sanders. The moral and material support from all of these institutions and individuals is gratefully acknowledged. John J. Bukowczyk xiv | Series Editor’s Preface ...


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Subject Headings

  • Church and state -- Poland -- History -- 20th century.
  • Catholic Church -- Poland -- Bishops -- History -- 20th century.
  • Poland -- Foreign relations -- Catholic Church.
  • Catholic Church -- Foreign relations -- Poland.
  • Secularism -- Poland -- History -- 20th century.
  • Poland -- Church history -- 20th century.
  • Poland -- Politics and government -- 1918-1945.
  • Piłsudski, Józef, 1867-1935.
  • Catholic Church -- Poland -- History -- 20th century.
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