25 Years Ago in Free Inquiry — Vol.40, No.3

“The political changes since [the overthrow of Poland’s Communist regime in] 1989 have not raised living standards for the majority of people, nor led to improvements in the state of education … . The increasingly strong position of the Catholic church—despite the change of political parties in government—may lead to the formation of a religious state with a legally sanctioned Catholic social and moral doctrine as the successor to Marxism-Leninism.

“In contrast to other Eastern European countries, the national and historical traditions of Poland would create an auspicious climate for this … . It is favored too by the malicious twist of fate that combined the fall of the communist system with the aggressively conservative pontificate of John Paul II. He has been built up by the church hierarchy and a large section of the victorious anti-communist opposition in Poland as an unassailable moral authority and the Greatest Pole of All Time.”

—Barbara Stanosz, “The Pope and the Myth of the Family,”
Free Inquiry, Volume 15, No. 2 (Spring 1995)

Editor’s Note: Barbara Stanosz (1935–2014) was a Polish philosopher and humanist activist. She would become a laureate of the International Academy of Humanism, the founder of CFI Poland, and an editor of the long-lived Polish humanist magazine Bez Dogmatu. Sadly for Poland, her comments in this article are virtually prophetic.


“The political changes since [the overthrow of Poland’s Communist regime in] 1989 have not raised living standards for the majority of people, nor led to improvements in the state of education … . The increasingly strong position of the Catholic church—despite the change of political parties in government—may lead to the formation of a religious …

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