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Prisoner of history: the Eastern Orthodox Church in Poland in the twentieth century.

The disappearance of Poland as a sovereign state through the three Partitions of the eighteenth century and the subsequent unsuccessful Polish attempts to regain its unity and independence throughout the nineteenth century thrust the Roman Catholic Church into a position of "guardian" of the "Polish national spirit," particularly in juxtaposition to the Protestant and Eastern Orthodox faiths, which came to be identified with German and Russian rule, respectively. The reemergence of an independent Republic of Poland following World War I placed these two religions in the position of "minority" denominations whose believers came predominantly from non-Polish ethnic groups, and thus became objects of official as well as popular pressures. This unfortunate historical legacy has continued throughout the century down to the present. An overview of the situation, development, and activities of the Orthodox Church from the resurrection of Polish sovereignty in 1919 to the "post-communist" era of the current decade is the subject of this essay.

THE YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE, 1919-1939

The Republic of Poland was a multinational state with substantial religious as well as ethnic diversity among its population. The last official prewar census of 1931 listed 3,762,484 Orthodox inhabitants of Poland, or 11.8 percent of the total population.(1) In terms of nationality the vast majority of Orthodox were either Ukrainian/Ruthenian (40 percent) or Belorussian (24 percent), with Poles comprising 12 percent and Russians a scant 3 percent of the total.(2) Most Orthodox believers were concentrated in those eastern provinces bordering the Soviet Union and inhabited primarily by these minorities; this was particularly true of Polesie, Wolyn, and Nowogrodek provinces, where Orthodox residents comprised 77 percent, 70 percent, and 51 percent of the total population, respectively.(3)

From the outset the Orthodox Church became the focus of three opposing concepts of its role in the new Poland. On the one hand, the Orthodox clergy, predominantly of Russian ethnicity (and exclusively Russian in the hierarchy), saw the church as the best means of retaining a Russian presence in Poland, with an eye to the eventual restoration of imperial rule in Russia. Conversely, many Ukrainians and Belorussians viewed the church as a prime instrument in the further development of a cohesive national movement that could shield their population from both official and informal repression by the Poles. Finally, the Polish state envisioned the Orthodox Church as another device to control the Slavic minorities and implement official policies within these regions, once the faith had been purged of its Russian character and shielded against Ukrainian domination. Moreover, a state-controlled Orthodox Church could be used as a counter to the powerful Roman Catholic Church, should the need arise.(4)

This three-way conflict affected every aspect of Orthodoxy in Poland up to the eve of World War II. Perhaps the one that had the most direct and far-reaching impact on the believers concerned the organizational structure of the church, especially its network of parishes and places of worship. The fact that the jurisdictions of the five dioceses (Wolyn, Polesie, Grodno, Wilno, and Warsaw-Chelm) overlapped provincial administrative borders made it difficult for the state to meddle in church affairs. Moreover, continual clashes between Orthodox and Roman Catholics over control of religious sites convinced authorities that it was in their best interest to eliminate as many Orthodox parishes as possible--a policy that had the additional advantage of removing Russian influence from these areas of Poland while obtaining land for state use.(5) Accordingly, despite vigorous protests by the Orthodox hierarchy, by 1934 the number of parishes had declined to about one-half of their prewar total, although the consolidation of smaller units into larger parishes produced a slight increase in number from 851 in 1924 to 983 a decade later.(6)

While restructuring the network of Orthodox parishes was essentially an administrative operation involving the state and church authorities, the question of ownership and operation of actual places of worship--churches, shrines, monasteries--directly affected the general populace, and hence was far more inflammatory. Indeed, it produced an ongoing struggle that occupied the state, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox readerships throughout the interwar period, occasionally with violent results. There were several dimensions to this issue. The first concerned the disposition of those Orthodox churches that had been closed during and immediately following the world war. These totaled 171, and were evenly divided between those originally belonging to the Roman or Greek Catholic (Uniate) faiths but forcibly transferred to Orthodox use following the January Insurrection of 1863-64, and those that had always been Orthodox. After considerable debate, the government in 1934 resolved the issue by returning twenty-nine to Catholic use, allowing the Orthodox to reactivate twenty-six, and keeping the rest closed as state property-a decision that satisfied neither religious community.(7)

An even more acrimonious matter concerned the return of those actively functioning Orthodox places of worship that were originally Catholic to their previous owners. This issue passed through three phases before its final resolution on the eve of World War II.(8) The first five years of peace witnessed an aggressive Roman Catholic campaign to simply take possession of certain properties without the approval of either central or local governmental authorities but with the active blessing of the Catholic hierarchy.(9) Not surprisingly, the local Orthodox populations often resisted these moves, occasionally with violence, until the government finally halted the process in 1924 with an executive order prohibiting any further changes in church ownership until a statutory basis had been established for a formal legal resolution of conflicting claims.(10) Nonetheless, between the years of 1919-1924, the Catholic Church successfully reclaimed 315 Orthodox churches, of which 175 had formerly belonged to the Uniates.(11)

Encouraged by these results, the Catholic Church then altered its tactics to focus on obtaining court judgments that would transfer control of Orthodox properties legally on the basis of original Catholic ownership. Starting in 1929, Catholic attorneys flooded district courts in the eastern provinces with claims that focused primarily on former Uniate churches.(12) Understandably leery of endorsing any further actions that would provoke the Orthodox population, the government delayed any action while seeking a negotiated settlement with the Vatican. The agreement finally signed in June 1939 attempted to resolve the issue by having the government confirm Catholic legal possession of all former possessions held at that moment and promising to examine a limited number of pending claims, while the church formally withdrew all other claims and agreed not to file any future ones.(13)

Yet even while these negotiations were in progress, a third type of assault on Orthodox worship centers was gathering momentum. Apart from the immediate postwar spontaneous demolition of such Orthodox churches as the cathedrals in Warsaw and Bialystok that stood as powerful symbols of tsarist oppression, such activity was random and sporadic until 1929. That spring the governor of Lublin province ordered the destruction of ninety-seven churches on the grounds that they were superfluous following parish reorganizations. Although widespread resistance reduced the number of churches actually demolished to twenty-three, the entire affair was an ominous portent of future developments in that region.(14)

Long a focal point of Orthodox-Catholic rivalry dating to tsarist times, the Chelm area became the center of anti-Orthodox activities in 1938 that aroused heated discussions both in Poland and abroad.(15) As early as 1935 the military and civilian authorities had determined that the vital interests of Poland demanded the "complete elimination of the problem of the Ukrainian minority" in the Chelm region, with the army conducting the operation.(16) Local Orthodox churches considered "unnecessary" due to their small communities became the primary targets of this venture, which commenced in May 1938.(17) When it had finally concluded three months later, 127 Orthodox holy places had been demolished, including 91 churches, 10 chapels, and 26 prayer houses, and 9 additional churches were transferred to the Roman Catholic Church, leaving the entire Lublin province with only 54 functioning Orthodox churches and a monastery.(18) The episode portrayed Poland in a negative light to the entire world, as Ukrainian legislators made it the subject of parliamentary debate and foreign commentators joined in the criticism.(19)

While these disputes over properties and jurisdictions aroused general passions and drew widespread attention, the issue far less spectacular but more crucial for the future of Orthodoxy in Poland involved its legal status within the state and its system of governance. The key consideration in this matter was the administrative structure of the church, and who would govern it. Inevitably, ethnic differences surfaced in discussions of this issue among the Orthodox themselves. The Russians, smaller in number but controlling the hierarchy and most clergy in place in 1919, naturally preferred the Synodal model, which reserved all genuine authority for the episcopate (bishops) while allowing some lay participation in church governance at the lower levels. Conversely, the more numerous Belorussians and Ukrainians (particularly the latter) opted for the Sobor model, wherein lay members made all key decisions and actually governed the church, while leaving liturgical and theological matters to the clergy. However, given the urgency of establishing a formal legal position for the church within the new Poland to facilitate the resolution of disputes over properties and other issues, both sides favored the attainment of the status of autocephaly, or independence from the newly reestablished (and Soviet-dominated) Moscow patriarchate. Since Polish authorities also wanted an Orthodox Church free from external control that could eventually serve as a major tool in Polonizing and integrating the national minorities into the state system, Warsaw also favored the creation of an autocephalous church.(20)

Under Orthodox canon law, an Orthodox Church jurisdiction can only become autocephalous with the formal consent of the governing "Mother Church"--in the Polish case, the Russian patriarchate. There being no likelihood of this forthcoming from Patriarch Tikhon, the state undertook a series of measures designed to bypass Moscow in the process. Since this involved obtaining support from those Russian bishops currently residing in Poland, the government took the first step in September 1921, when it offered the position of metropolitan of Warsaw and exarch of the Orthodox Church in Poland to Archbishop Jerzy (George) as the hierarch most favorably inclined to working with the state.(21) While the episcopate debated its position on autocephaly, in February 1922 Warsaw moved closer to regularizing the church's status by issuing "Temporary Regulations on the Relationship of the Government to the Orthodox Church in Poland."(22) This action recognized the five existing dioceses under the authority of the General Episcopal Synod, provided for special funding from the state treasury, and required the use of the Polish language in communications between civil and church personnel. Shortly thereafter Jerzy convened the Synod, which on 14 June voted 3-2 in favor of a unilateral declaration of autocephaly over the heated objections of Moscow.(23)

With the Polish Synod now on record in favor of autocephaly, the process advanced rapidly, although not without controversy. The two archbishops who had voted against autocephaly under those circumstances (Vladimir and Panteleimon), together with a third archbishop who boycotted the Synod session (Eleutherius), resigned their positions and left the country, where they joined the Moscow patriarchate and the Yugoslav-based emigre Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in constant condemnation of the Polish Episcopate's action. This opposition, combined with the overtly anti-Orthodox actions of the Roman Catholic Church noted above, produced such an inflammatory atmosphere in Poland that a recently suspended Russian archimandrite monk assassinated Metropolitan Jerzy in February 1923. Undeterred by these hostile actions, the remaining Synod members elected as the new metropolitan bishop Dionizy (Dionisius), who promptly joined with the Polish authorities in lobbying the ecumenical patriarch for a formal grant of autocephaly without prior endorsement from Moscow. Finally, despite the latter's continued opposition, Patriarch Gregory VII officially approved the autocephalous status for the Polish Orthodox Church on 13 November 1924, a decision reaffirmed by his successor as Ecumenical Patriarch Constantine VI the following February. All that remained was for the Polish Synod to formally accept its new status, which it did in December 1925 by adopting the title "Polish Autocephalous Holy Orthodox Church."(24)

Its independent existence secured, the Orthodox leadership moved to establish its formal legal position in Poland. It first requested a redefinition through legislative statute of that position and its relationship to the state to replace the "Temporary Rules" on the grounds that autocephaly had rendered them obsolete.(25) To force a speedy response, in March 1926 the Synod submitted for state approval a draft constitution that was almost certain to be rejected by both the authorities and many of the Orthodox faithful. In essence, this document claimed exclusive governance of the church for the hierachy, while denying any lay participation and proclaiming complete freedom from state control.(26)

After the anticipated official rejection, and amidst legal pressure from the Catholic Church, the Orthodox hierarchy decided in 1929 to call a general church council, or Sobor, to adopt a constitution. But the state denied permission for a Sobor on the grounds that the selection of delegates was undemocratically arranged to ensure the heavy dominance of the clergy at lay expense, although a Polish official heavily involved with this issue later asserted that the real reason for the refusal was the desire to have the state, and not the church itself, establish the legal framework for its existence.(27) When news of the denial reached the Orthodox populace, there was such an uproar--including reaction in Parliament among the Ukrainian legislators--that the government agreed to form a special commission composed of Orthodox and Polish officials to establish guidelines for the organization of a Sobor and its agenda through a series of preliminary meetings.(28)

Despite a highly publicized auspicious beginning to the process, including a ceremonial opening liturgy held 1 June 1930 in Warsaw Cathedral with top government officials in attendance, a general Sobor never convened. In part this was due to government refusal to include certain items in the agenda--the formal legal status of the church, its property rights, a resolution of the Catholic lawsuits over properties, the creation of new parishes--although sharp nationality conflicts between the Russian hierarchy and the Ukrainian-Belorussian majority of lay delegates also contributed to the failure of the Sobor initiative. But as one observer notes, the ultimate reason that the project collapsed was the government's determination to retain for itself exclusive control over the definition and establishment of the structure and functioning of the Orthodox Church, to ensure that it not become a weapon used by the Slavic minorities against the Polish state and population.(29)

Finally, the state acted unilaterally to establish its legal relationship to Polish Orthodoxy. The starting point for this process was the formation of the Committee for Nationality Affairs within the Cabinet in 1934 to develop and implement official nationality policy. In December 1935, it defined the official role of the Orthodox Church as a primary instrument to expand Polish culture in the eastern regions, for which the church itself would have to be Polonized in terms of both personnel and liturgical language.(30) Three years later, in November 1938, President Ignacy Moscicki issued a decree formally establishing the legal position of the Orthodox Church in Poland, and an executive order from the Cabinet the following month provided the details of the state-church relationship as well as the internal structure and functioning of the latter.(31)

Several provisions of these documents merit special mention. The Polish church was recognized as an integral member of the "Universal Eastern Orthodox Church" in terms of dogma and canon, but otherwise was completely independent of any external secular and ecclesiastical authorities. The church became a legal corporate entity, with all rights accorded that designation, and was assured of freedom to govern itself. Regarding its administration and governance, a General Sobor composed of representatives from the Synod, clergy, and laity was the supreme governing body, although its executive organ was the Episcopal Synod headed by the metropolitan. The latter would be elected by a special Electoral General Sobor of clergy and laity, while bishops were chosen by the Synod from a list provided by an electoral assembly within each diocese. In turn, bishops governed their dioceses together with a diocesan assembly of clergy and laity, while local priests shared governance with lay parish councils. The church could operate schools and brotherhoods subject to prevailing secular laws and regulations. Since the state agreed to provide some funding for Orthodox operations and assigned portions of land to each organizational unit, the statutes called for the formation of a Chief Control Commission to assist the Synod in financial and material affairs.(32)

Given the official role assigned it in state nationality policy, the personnel policies of the church received particular attention. The official language of all administrative proceedings was to be Polish, although Orthodox officials could respond to a request posed by an individual or institution in another language in the same tongue. Orthodox priests could only be trained in the State Theological School in Warsaw or at the Orthodox Theological Center of Warsaw University, and petitioners were only admitted to monastic orders with prior approval of the state.

With these developments, the Orthodox Church finally became an officially established factor in modern Polish life. Granted, some issues were left unresolved pending future resolution--notably the final settlement of religious property disputes and delineation of territorial jurisdictions for Orthodox dioceses, deaneries, and parishes--and government sources openly discussed the political role envisioned for the church.(33) Moreover, strictly speaking it was not a canonical body under Orthodox law, since it had bypassed its Russian Mother Church in the process of gaining autocephaly. Nonetheless, for the first time in its history, a Polish state had defined the legal framework within which this faith would function within its borders, a fact of considerable future significance.

THE WAR YEARS, 1939-1945

The story of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church in World War II is shaded in controversy and murky references that result from both wartime political developments and the postwar situation within Poland. Accordingly, until full archival access becomes available, research on this segment of church history entails sifting through conflicting and often contradictory accounts of its activities during this period.

From the outset, the Orthodox Church played a role in the German plans for eastern conquest.(34) As part of its war preparations, Berlin openly patronized the Orthodox Church within Germany to generate support among Russian and Ukrainian emigres residing there, while building up a cadre of Orthodox clergy for use as a key segment of the post-conquest occupation system. This German Orthodox establishment was headed by an ethnic German emigre from Russia, who, following his conversion to Orthodoxy and ordination, was proclaimed Archbishop Seraphim by the Yugoslav-based exile Russian Synod. Prior to the outbreak of war, the Nazi leadership designated Seraphim as the official head of all Orthodox in the Third Reich and its future territorial acquisitions.

The rapid Polish defeat and subsequent partition between Germany and the Soviet Union placed nearly all Orthodox faithful under the latter's control, although officially they remained under the jurisdiction of Polish metropolitan Dionizy. Under German pressure on 23 November 1939, Dionizy abdicated his office and transferred his hierarchical authority to Seraphim, on the grounds that, since Poland no longer existed as a sovereign state, neither did the autocephaly of its Orthodox Church, which now passed under the jurisdiction of the German Orthodox Church. Less than a year later, on 23 September 1940, Dionizy recanted his abdication and persuaded Hans Frank, head of the Polish occupation regime, to confirm him as metropolitan of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of the Generalgouvernement in return for a pledge of civil obedience to Nazi rule. Although officially his jurisdiction encompassed only the Generalgouvernement, the later expansion of German rule eastward into the Soviet Union allowed Dionizy indirectly-to extend his authority there as well.(35)

When the Germans overran the former Polish eastern provinces in 1941, they found an Orthodox Church in a state of transition. Since they desired to integrate these territories into the Soviet Union as smoothly as possible, initially Russian authorities refrained from any major moves against the church. Metropolitan Sergii, head of the Russian Synod, named Metropolitan Nikolai head of the newly-created Exarchate of Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia, and launched a cautious drive to Russify the church in this area.(36)

The German invasion forced the Soviets to abandon their plans for a major anti-religious campaign and, with the flight of Metropolitan Nikolai from his exarchate to Moscow, simultaneously opened the possibility for Dionizy to reassert his control over this portion of his former jurisdiction. Mindful of the terms under which he had reassumed his position, Dionizy actively assisted German authorities in manipulating the Orthodox Church to solidify its rule in Ukraine and Belorussia. While discussion of his actions is beyond the scope of this essay, they proved important for Polish Orthodoxy in the postwar period.(37)

The postwar Polish Orthodox Church faced a number of daunting challenges, headed by a greatly reduced constituency and the redefinition of its position within the new political order. Alterations to Poland's frontiers reduced the Orthodox establishment from about 4 million believers organized into five dioceses under the authority of ten bishops to about 450,000 in two dioceses under three bishops. Its official head, Metropolitan Dionizy, fled westward with other Nazi officials and ended up in West Germany, where in 1946 he was arrested on charges of wartime collaboration and transferred to a Polish jail. Interim administration of the church passed to Archbishop Timothy (Timotheus) Shreter, who was to govern together with the Synod pending final resolution of its status in the new state.

The Synod promptly moved to regularize relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, canonically still the "Mother Church" for Poland. In June 1948, as Dionizy was scheduled to go to trial for collaboration, the Polish Synod formally repudiated its autocephalous status on the grounds that it had been gained without consent from Moscow, officially stripped Dionizy of his clerical rank and duties, and asked the Russian patriarch to regrant autocephaly. Patriarch Alexei promptly agreed, and on 22 June 1948 the Russian Synod formally approved this status for the Polish Church. The ecumenical patriarch confirmed the grant, and requested that Dionizy return as its head. Accordingly, the regime released him in August and Dionizy personally journeyed to Moscow to formally repent before Patriarch Alexei, who lifted various ecclesiastical interdictions against him and returned his title of metropolitan--but then officially retired him from active clerical duty, thereby vacating the leading position in the Polish hierarchy.(38)

Although the church was without a formal head, under the Synod it gradually revived its institutional structure and ecclesiastical life. Previously, the Synod had founded a convent at Grabarka and monastery at Jableczna in 1947, and in 1949 it added a third diocese. The following year a fourth diocese emerged, and that same year the Orthodox Theological Seminary reopened in Warsaw to train future priests. Finally, on 19 April 1951, the Synod sent a message to the Russian patriarch declaring that no one in Poland was worthy to fill the position of metropolitan of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church and asked that he select a Russian hierarch for this post. Two months later the Moscow Synod granted their request, and on 8 July 1951, Archbishop Macarius of L'viv and Ternopil' was formally enthroned as metropolitan of Warsaw and all Poland.(39)

Macarius worked diligently to rebuild the Orthodox Church while simultaneously Polonizing it by diminishing its Ukrainian and Belorussian aspects. Along the way he succeeded in alienating the Roman Catholic Church by assuming control of a number of Uniate churches in southeastern Poland that had been confiscated by the state earlier, an action that later redounded negatively to Polish Orthodoxy.(40) Among other achievements, he was instrumental in having a Department of Orthodox Theology established at the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw, the state-supported center for advanced pastoral education for non-Catholic faiths. Indeed, even an observer critical of his Polonizing activities credited Macarius with consolidating and streamlining the church organizational structure and shaping it into a "respectable ecclesiastical body which enjoyed comparatively more privileges than the Roman Catholic Church."(41)

Macarius died in 1959 and was succeeded as metropolitan by former interim head Archbishop Timothy, who in turn died three years later. His successor was Bishop Stefan (Stephen), who served eight years before his death in 1970 elevated the current Metropolitan Bazyli (Basil) to the chief office in the hierarchy.

Under Bazyli, the Orthodox Church became a key member of the Polish Ecumenical Council, the umbrella organization of non-Catholic religious establishments that backed the government in both its foreign and domestic policies. Its reward was a slow but steady growth throughout the 1970s, rising from official counts of 195 clergy serving 215 parishes in 1970 to 292 clergy serving 231 parishes in 1980, although the number of places of worship remained at 300(42) The main issue facing the church during this decade was the rising demand for its Ukrainianization, which focused on the use of the Ukrainian language in worship services and certain Orthodox publications. Although many of the clergy and faithful are ethnic Ukrainians, the hierarchy remained firm on the use of Church Slavonic as the liturgical language and of Russian for the official monthly publication Tserkovnyi Viestnik.(43) As a partial concession, the church added a Ukrainian version of its annual almanac to its publication list, but carefully complemented it with a Polish-language information bulletin. This reluctance to accommodate Ukrainian Orthodoxy has been explained as deriving from Moscow's fears that a more far-reaching Ukrainization of the church might well produce similar demands for a religious revival among its own Ukrainian population.(44)

The final decade of communist rule presented the Orthodox Church with special challenges. One involved the increasing assertiveness of the Roman Catholic Church, which concerned the hierarchy even before the formal appearance of Solidarity.(45) Nonetheless, while not an active participant in Solidarity, the church joined with other non-Catholic denominations in pressing for the same access to radio broadcasts of its services granted to the Catholic Church in the Gdansk Accords. Church leaders also "positively" assessed "the socio-political transformations currently taking place in Poland, with special stress on democratization of public life," although they were careful to note that they also "favorably assessed the Polish denominational policy over the last decade."(46)

The imposition of martial law in December 1981 placed a difficult choice before the non-Catholic faiths: Resist the military junta and risk losing the gains made since World War II, or cooperate and extend them. The Orthodox Church opportunistically joined its fellow Ecumenical Council members in opting for the latter approach. The metropolitan issued a special Easter encyclical in 1982 which, after noting that "certain people" had displayed a tendency to "behavior which is offensive to the name Christian . . . the morality of a wolf," and "the desire to destroy our common home and . . . sink our Homeland in the sea of suffering, tears and perhaps also blood," urged the faithful to "pray for our beloved Army and for its supreme authorities."(47) An accompanying Synod statement voiced the hope that "our homeland will get stronger, that the joy of life will return to it, and with it--a spiritual and material wellbeing."(48)

The Orthodox leadership consistently supported the regime for the next several years, and even earned public praise for its enthusiastic backing from Minister for Religious Affairs Adam Lopatka for "praying vigorously for the authorities in power."(49) It refused to send representatives to a 1984 meeting of Eastern European religious leaders in Sofia, Bulgaria to discuss "human rights issues" and final implementation of the Helsinki Accords.(50) The brutal murder of an Orthodox priest in June 1985 threatened to interrupt this harmonious relationship, although news of the crime was not revealed until the following September. Noting that the victim, Fr. Piotr Poplawski, had been openly sympathetic to the Solidarity movement, both Polish and Western sources denied the official claim of "suicide," after which local authorities were quoted as blaming "fanatical nationalist Catholics" desirous of fanning strife between area Catholic and Orthodox populations for the death.(51) The Orthodox hierarchy remained silent on the matter, and several months later joined the other Ecumenical Council members in a year-end meeting with regime leaders to thank them "for having created conditions encouraging citizens to enjoy the full freedom of conscience and religious beliefs, and allowing the churches and religious associations to enjoy the freedom to perform their religious functions." In return, Deputy Prime Minister Kazimierz Barcikowski expressed official gratitude for their "patriotic attitude and their fruitful contribution to shaping national accord."(52) The remainder of the decade featured similar public expressions of mutual admiration right up to the eve of the communist collapse.(53)

The Orthodox Church reaped considerable rewards for its unswerving support of the regime. Along with other non-Catholic faiths, in January 1982 it received the right to radio broadcasts of its services twice monthly plus on special holy days.(54) The year 1983 proved to be especially rewarding for the church. March witnessed the election of Metropolitan Bazyli as deputy chairman of the Ecumenical Council, and the following month the church formed a youth group with official blessing.(55) Perhaps the crowning achievement came in September with state approval for the creation of a fifth diocese headquartered in the city of Przemysl, the spiritual center of the Ukrainian Uniate faith; the award of the Church of the Dormition, traditional seat of Uniate bishops closed by the state in the 1950s, as the seat of the new Orthodox Bishop of Przemysl-Nowy Sacz heightened the already-fierce opposition of the Catholic Church. Four years later, the church offered an impressive display of its vitality. A youth pilgrimage-retreat at Grabarka in July 1987 attracted 1,500, and the following month the annual Orthodox pilgrimage reportedly drew "tens of thousands of the faithful, including foreign pilgrims."(56) The final affirmation of the major role Orthodoxy enjoyed in Polish life was the December visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Demetrios I at Bazyli's invitation, which included a special meeting with Polish leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski.(57)

The quantitative expansion of the Orthodox Church mirrored its increase in prestige. In 1985, the number of parishes had risen to 242 from 231, and the number of places of worship increased to 313 from 300,(58) Later that year the church received permission to build a large new cathedral in Bialystok, to be funded in part by the state.(59) By 1988 the church added five more parishes and, while the number of worship places remained constant at 313, it opened 252 new locales for Orthodox religious education. Moreover, the number of seminarians studying for the Orthodox priesthood rose to 120 from 90 just two years earlier.(60) Clearly the Polish Orthodox Church had profited from its accommodation with the prevailing political forces.

The Orthodox Church In Post-Communist Poland

The collapse of the Communist regime in 1989 and the subsequent democratization of Poland created an environment filled with uncertainty and occasional danger for Polish Orthodoxy. Even as the Roundtable Talks between Communist and Solidarity representatives were underway, the government assured nervous non-Catholic religious leaders that they need not fear that it would "reach an accord with the Roman Catholic Church at their expense," and promised to push for legislation guaranteeing religious freedom for all.(61) Shortly after these reassurances of religious toleration, Orthodox holy places came under assault throughout 1990. In February, vandals desecrated fifty-two tombs and ten crucifixes in the Warsaw Orthodox Cemetery, and the summer months witnessed a wave of arson attacks against Orthodox buildings. Targets included the home of the Orthodox professor of church history at the Christian Theological Academy, the Trinity Cathedral under construction in Bialystok, and numerous other churches and homes of clergy. The most disconcerting loss was the seventeenth-century wooden Church of St. Mary at Grabarka, the holiest shrine of Polish Orthodoxy, which was first robbed and then, together with priceless icons and other holy objects, burned to the ground the night of 12/13 July in an act that some considered to be orchestrated by Catholic activists.(62)

Indeed, these incidents occurred on a backdrop of a Catholic drive to reintroduce compulsory religious instruction into the public school curriculum. Despite the assurance of Cardinal Glemp, primate of Poland, that the Catholic Church did not want exclusive control of religious instruction but advocated the right of non-Catholic faiths to offer instruction to their pupils as well, the minority religions became increasingly concerned over the direction the new Solidarity might pursue in this matter.(63) Their fears appeared valid when on 3 August 1990, without even consulting the Polish Ecumenical Council, the government issued an order restoring religious instruction to elementary schools on a "voluntary" basis and without a formal grade.(64) When the Council protested and demanded the creation of a joint government-Ecumenical Council commission to deal with this and such other "contentious matters" as pastoral care in hospitals, prisons, and the military, Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki met with non-Catholic leaders to confirm the government's willingness to work closely with them on these and other issues.(65)

Meanwhile the Orthodox Church found the revised atmosphere to be promising as well as threatening. It created the new diocese of Lublin-Chelm and elevated the Warsaw-Bielsk seat of the metropolitan to an archdiocese. On 15 August 1990, over 40,000 faithful journeyed to Grabarka to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption and lay the cornerstone for a replacement St. Mary's church. The following July, a new statute redefined the relationship between Orthodox Church and state, and provided for mechanisms to settle those issues left unresolved in 1939 such as disputed properties, schooling, and pastoral outreach.(66) By 1992 the church network had expanded to 250 parishes with 410 places of worship to serve 570,600 officially registered believers, although some Orthodox sources claimed twice that number were actually Orthodox.(67) Despite a substantial reduction in state financial subsidies, the church also greatly expanded its publication and education programs, and in 1993 was in the process of organizing a corps of Orthodox chaplains for the armed forces. Indeed, evidence of its vitality was the Polish church's ability to supply Orthodox priests to those parishes in independent Ukraine without indigenous clergy.(68)

These advances notwithstanding, the Polish Orthodox Church continues to labor under a burdensome historical legacy. Its material holdings and the generally low income level of the vast majority of believers restrict the ability of the church to more fully exploit the new pastoral opportunities available in the current decade. Perhaps more significant is the ongoing attempt of the Roman Catholic Church to reclaim former Uniate properties previously transferred to the Orthodox Church following World War II. Despite Pope John Paul II's plea for Catholics and Orthodox to set aside grievances over past injustices in a spirit of understanding and forgiveness while jointly pursuing Christian unity, Orthodox leaders have expressed concern over the continued Catholic drive to erode their position in Poland.(69)

The return of former Polish communists to political power in recent years has raised another potential challenge for the church. After electoral victories gave them control of both the Parliament and the presidency, Orthodox leaders worried that the new leadership might well attempt to reconcile with the Catholic Church at Orthodox expense. When queried about this possibility, Metropolitan Bazyli responded that, "since we believe, with St. Paul, that every authority comes from God, and will be punished if it commits evil, we simply thank God when the authority is good and pray for help when it is bad." He further noted that 'We don't try to engage in politics, and don't encourage secular powers to intervene in our internal affairs."(70) These challenges notwithstanding, the Eastern Orthodox faith seems certain to remain an established fixture in Poland, although the lingering aftereffects of centuries of religious strife may require generations to overcome.

(1.) Unless noted otherwise, figures in this section are from Drugi Powszechny Spis Ludnosci z dnia 9 IX 1931 r., "Statystyka Polska," Seria C, z. 94a (Warsaw: Glowny Urzad Statystyczny, 1938), tables 10, 13, 15, 16.

(2.) The figure of Poles is contested by social historian Janusz Zarnowski in Spoleczenstwo Drugiej Rzeczypospolitej 1918-1939 (Warsaw: Panstwo Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1973), 375, who believes that only about 4 percent of practicing Orthodox were ethnically Polish. The remaining segments of Orthodox believers were comprised of a few Czechs (5 percent) and those people inhabiting the swampy forestland along the eastern borderlands without any defined sense of national or ethnic identity, but who instead described themselves as "tutejszy," meaning "local" or "from here" (18 percent).

(3.) Actual figures for the six most "Orthodox" provinces were Polesie (77.4 percent), Wolyn (69.8 percent), Nowogrodek (51.3 percent), Wilno (25.4 percent), Bialystok (18.5 percent), and Lublin (8.5 percent). Only the last two remained in Poland following World War II.

(4.) For the ethnic perspective on the role of the Orthodox Church, see Jerzy Tomaszewski, "Mniejszosci slowianskie w II Rzecypospolitej. Perspektywy i ograniczenia," in Pamietnik XII Powszechnego Zjazdu Historykow Polskich 17-20 wrzesnia 1979, pt. 2 (Katowice, 1979): 136-37. The best treatment of the complex Polish state-Orthodox Church relationship to date is by Miroslawa Papierzynska-Turek, Miedzy tradyga a rzeczywistoscia. Panstwo wobec prawoslawia 1918-1939 (Warsaw: Polskie Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1989).

(5.) The rationale for parish closings is in the files of the Ministry of Religious Cults and Public Education (MWRiOP) in the Archiwum Akt Nowych (Warsaw), file 1004 Justification for the Project of Distributing Orthodox Parishes in 1924 (hereafter cited as AAN/ MWRiOP). See also the official response to the Orthodox hierarchy's complaints in file 1002--Letter from the MWRiOP to the Metropolitan of 5 May 1924.

(6.) Archiwum Akt Nowych, Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnetrznych (hereafter AAN/MSW), file 1040--Listing of Approved Positions of the Orthodox Church in 1934. The only two provinces to show a decline in parishes in the period 1924-1934 were Lublin (49 to 48) and Polesie (222 to 199), while the others either remained the same, had a modest increase or, in the case of Wolyn, witnessed a dramatic rise from 308 parishes in 1924 to 455 in 1934.

(7.) AAN/MWRiOP, file 817--Materials in the Matter of Disputed Holy Places of Latin, Uniate, and Orthodox Origins. Compilation of May 1934. Most of the disputed churches were in the Lublin (99/171) and Bialystok (42/171) provinces.

(8.) The best general studies of this thomy issue are by Wieslaw Myslek, Z problemow polityki wschodniej Kosciola katolickiego w Polsce w latach 1918-1939 (Warsaw: Ksiazka i Wiedza, 1967), and Jerzy Wislocki, Uposazenie Kosciola i duchowienstwa katolickiego w Polsce 1918-1939 (Pozoan: Wydawnictwo Poznanskie, 1981).

(9.) For example, in December 1918, Henryk Przezdziecki, bishop of the Podlasie diocese specifically ordered the clergy under his jurisdiction to immediately take over all disputed properties--AAN/MWRiOP, file 817--Decree of Podlasian Bishop H. Przezdzieckiego of 11 December 1918. Later, when local Orthodox resistance became violent and the state ordered a halt to the process, Przezdziecki modified his previous order by forbidding any forcible reacquisition without his prior approval; ibid., file 833--Letter of Podlasian Bishop H. Przezdzieckiego to MWRiOP of 3 May 1921.

(10.) See the directive from the prime minister to the ministries of religious affairs and public works (28 May 1924), and the follow-up orders from the former ministry to the relevant provincial governors (30 May 1924) in AAN/MWRiOP, file 823 and file 229, respectively.

(11.) Figures from AAN/MWRiOP, file 818--The Matter of Uniate Objects on the Background of Talks with the Papal Commission and of Work on Regulating the Legal Position of the Orthodox Church (Materials from 11 February 1933).

(12.) In the first year alone of this approach (1929), the Catholic Church filed 755 claims in Polish courts--AAN/MWRiOP, file 825--Letter from MWRiOP to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of 30 January 1930.

(13.) Text of the Polish-Vatican treaty in Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczypospolitej Polski 1939, no. 35.

(14.) See the reports of Gov. Antoni Remiszewski to the MWRiOP of 11 April and 16 September 1929 in MN/MWRiOP, file 1169.

(15.) This area had been the site of conflict on the very eve of World War I. See Robert Blobaum, Yoleration and Ethno-religious Strife: The Struggle between Catholics and Orthodox Christians in the Chelm Region of Russian Poland, 1904-1906," Polish Review 35 (1990): 111-24.

(16.) Report of the Lublin governor to the IX District Military Command of 31 January 1935, cited in Andzrej Chojnowski, KDncepge polityki narodowosciowej rzadow polskich w latach 1921-1939 (Wroclaw: Ossolineum, 1979), 230. For a full discussion of the army's role in this activity, see Piotr Stawocki, Nastepcy Komendanta. Woysko a polityka wewnetrzna Dregiej Rzeczypospolitej w latach 1935-1939 (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Ministerstwa Obrony Narodowej, 1969), 169-210. The political environment following Jozef Pilsudski's death in May 1935 became increasingly contentious, with Polish-Ukrainian relations more hostile than before; see Edward Wynot, "The Ukrainians and the Polish Regime, 1937-1939," Ukrainskii Istoryk 7 (1970): 44-60.

(17.) This unfortunate episode in Polish history has been widely (and passionately) discussed. For representative samples of the literature see, in addition to that portion of Stawecki cited above, Wladyslaw Pobog-Malinowski, Naynowsza historia polityczna Polski 1864-1945, 2nd ed. (London: B. Swiderski, 1967), 2: 821-29, and Janusz Kania, "Likwidacja cerkwi na Lubelszczyznie w okresie miedzywojennym," Chrzescijanin w Swiecie. Zeszyty ODiSS 108 (September 1982): 76-91.

(18.) Report of the Lublin governor to the Second Military District Command of 18 July 1938, cited in Stawecki, Nasteycy Komendanta, 194. Responding to the official position that these churches were all inactive and hence unnecessary, the Polish metropolitan claimed that 50 of the 91 destroyed were serving substantial congregations; see Kurier Poranny, 28 August 1938.

(19.) For Ukrainian legislative activities, see Cerkiew prawoslawna na Chelmszczyznie. Przemowienia i interpelacje poslow i senatorow ukrainskich w Sejmie i Senacie (Lwow: n.p., 1938); a good sample of international comment are the articles contained in a special issue of the American publication Commonweal, 25 August 1939, devoted to the tense situation in Poland on the eve of war.

(20.) The best examination of the question of autocephaly for the Polish Orthodox Church remains the contemporary study by Jerzy Langrod, O autokefalii prawoslawnej w Polsce. Studium z zakresu polskiej polityki administracji wyznaniowej (Warsaw: Instytut Wydawniczy "Biblioteka Polska," 1931). The classic look at the role Orthodoxy played in the Ukrainian national movement remains John Reshetar's "Ukrainian Nationalism and the Orthodox Church," American Slavic and East European Review 10 (1951): 38-49.

(21.) For the terms of the offer see MN/MWRiOP, file 189--Letter from MWRiOP to Archbishop Jerzy of 5 September 1921.

(22.) Monitor Polski, 1922, no. 8, item 20.

(23.) Resolution in AAN/MWRiOP, file 92--Resolution of the Council of Orthodox Bishops of 14 June 1922.

(24.) For the summary of the main points of the Ecumenical Patriarchal formal grant of autocephaly in the official tomos, see Langrod, O--autokefalii, 94-96. For examples of Russian Patriarch Tikhon's opposition, see his various messages to Dionizy and official pronouncements in the recently published collection of documents Aktiy Sviatieshego Patriarkha Tikhona i nozdnieshie dokumentiy o preemstve viyshie tserkovnoi vlasti 1917-1943 (Moscow: Pravoslavnyi Sviato-Tikhonovskyi Bogoslovskiii Institut, 1993), esp. 320-21, 4226, 752-53, and 755-56, spanning the period 1924-1925. The emigre view is represented by Alexander Svitich, Pravoslavnaya tserkov v Pol'she i ee avtokefaliya (Buenos Aires, 1959), esp. 9-118.

(25.) AAN/MWRiOP, file 92--Memorandum from Metropolitan Dionizy to MWRiOP of December 1925.

(26.) AAN/MWRiOP, file 927--Basic Statute for the Internal Canonical Structure of the Polish Autocephalous Holy Orthodox Church, 26.

(27.) The official reasons were contained in the Note from MWRiOP to the Chief of the Civil Chancellory of the President of 18 February 1930--AAN/MWRiOP, file 959. Henryk Suchenek-Suchecki, long-time head of the Nationality Department in the Ministry of the Interior, revealed the real reasons in his contemporary book, Panstwo a Cierkiew prawoslawna w Polsce i w panstwach osciennych (Warsaw: n.p., 1930), 58-59.

(28.) Suchanek-Suchecki, Panstwo, 6a. For parliamentary reaction, see the resolution adopted by the Ukrainian Club in the Sejm on 14 January 1930 and offered on the Sejm floor that called on the government to permit the Sobor (Sejm Rzeczypospolitej Polski, okres II, Sprawozdania stenograficzne z posiedzenia 67 z dnia 15 I 1930, 69-71), and the speech by Deputy Sergiusz Chrucki of 7 February 1930 in ibid., posiedzenia 75 z dnia 7 II 1930, 42).

(29.) Papierzynska-Turek, Miedzy tradycja, 180-81.

(30.) For a complete discussion of these developments, see Chojnowski, Koncepcje polityki, 206-11.

(31.) Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczypospolitej Polski 1938, no. 88, Law 597--Decree of the President of the Republic of 18 November 1938 on the Relationship of the State to the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and ibid., no 103, Law 679--Executive Order of the Council of Ministers of 30 December 1938 Containing the Statute for the Internal Government of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

(32.) The actual amount of land alloted to each unit for its use was specified the following spring--Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczypospolitej Polski 1939, no. 57,law 370--Statute of 23 June 1939 on the Regularization of the Legal Status of Orthodox Church Properties. Amounts spanned a spectrum from 180 hectares for the Metropolitan down to 7 hectares for a Reader.

(33.) Minister of Religious Cults and Public Education Wojciech Swietoslawski underscored the nationality-policy considerations and use of the changes in his special instructions to governors of the affected eastern provinces--AAN/MWRiOP, file 350 Religious policy with special attention to the Orthodox problem. Notations for the information of Lublin, Bialystok, Wilno, Nowagrodek, Polesie, and Wolyn provinces, 21 November 1938. See also the editorial in the chief regime press organ Gazeta Polska, 22 November 1938, which warned the Orthodox establishment and faithful alike that the state could not permit "in any measure such activities as would weaken its powers of resistance to those dangers coming from the east or would . . . artificially hamper the natural expansion of Polish culture into the eastern lands."

(34.) This section based on material from the definitive study of this topic by Harvey Fireside, Icon and Swastika: The Russian Orthodox Church under Nazi and Soviet Control (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971). Portions relevent to this study are in ch. 3, "Nazi Ideology and Administrative Practice on Religion," 49-71, and ch. 4, "Nazi Policy toward the Orthodox Church: The Minister vs. the Commissar," 72-100.

(35.) The maneuverings of Dionizy are recounted in Svitich, Pravoslavnaya, 184-91, and Wassilij Alexeev and Theofanis Stavrou, The Great Revival (Minneapolis, Minn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1976): 156-57. The two accounts differ only on the question of the definitive permanence and formality of his "abdication."

(36.) Details in William Fletcher, A Study in Survival: The Church in Russia, 1927-1943 (New York: Macmillan, 1965), 97-98.

(37.) For extensive discussions of the Nazi use of Orthodoxy and Dionizy's role in their policies, see Fireside, Icon and Swastika, 139-65, and Dimitry Pospielovsky, The Russian Church under the Soviet Regime, 1917-1982 (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1984), II: 232-47.

(38.) The best account of these developments, including the full text of the Polish Synod's petition to the patriarch, is in Church and State Behind the Iron Curtain, ed. Vladimir Gsovski (New York: Praegar, 1955), 238-39.

(39.) Opinions of Macarius vary. Andrew Sorokowski, writing from a Ukrainian perspective, claims that his zeal in assisting the forcible conversion of Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in the Ukrainian SSR" was his primaRy qualification for the Polish position. See "Ukrainian Catholics and Orthodox in Poland since 1945," Religion in Communist Lands 14 (Winter 1986): 248. On the other hand, Pospielovsky describes him as a "highly learned man" and cites a contemporary non-Soviet source's view of him as "a very decent man" in his The Russian Church, II: 305.

(40.) Details in Andrzej Potocki, "Organizacja zycia religijnego w dzisiejszej Polsce poludniowo-wschodniej," Kultura i Spoleczenstwo 28 (1984): 226.

(41.) Vasyl Markus, "The Religious Situation of the Ukrainians in Poland and the Poles in Ukraine," in Poland and Ukraine Past and Present, ed. Peter Potichnyi (Edmonton: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, 1980), 134.

(42.) Rocznik statystyczny 1980 40 (Warsaw: Glowny Urzad Statystyczny, 1980): 27, table 10/50. The emigre publication Orthodox Monitor, 9-10 (July-December 1980): 83, gives approximately the same totals for clergy, parishes, and place of worship (290, 233, and 301, respectively), and in addition places the number of registered believers at 580,000. It also lists nineteen monks and fifteen nuns in the monastery and convent, respectively.

(43.) In 1975 a series of polemic articles in the official Orthodox Church organ, Tserkovnyi Viestnik, debated a change in the language used in services. One side complained that Old Church Slavonic was incomprehensible to the modern believer irrespective of nationality, while the other insisted that it was a "great good fortune" that the church "had received and preserved the Slavonic language until now as a bulwark of Orthodoxy against the aggressive intentions of Western influences." See Religion in Communist Lands 3 (1975): 36.

(44.) Markus, "The Religious Situation," 136-37.

(45.) The growing Catholic sponsorship of opposition movements was the subject of a special session of the Synod held 18 March 1980; see Religion in Communist Lands 8 (1980), 4: 325.

(46.) Report of the meeting of the Presidium of the Polish Ecumenical Council held 12 December 1980; see Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Report (East Europe), 17 December 1980 (hereafter cited as FBISDR-EE).

(47.) Quoted in Religion in Communist Dominated Areas 21 (1982): 53-54.

(48.) Text of statement issued 6 April 1982 in FBISDR-EE, 7 April 1982.

(49.) Quoted in Gazeta Wspolczesna, 1 March 1985, as reported in FBISDR-EE, 8 April 1985.

(50.) Keston News Service, no. 204, 19 July 1984.

(51.) The death was first reported in FBISDR-EE, 26 September 1985, and the same source reported the suicide verdict the following day, 27 September 1985. Full details of this incident are in Keston News Service, no. 235, 3 October 1985.

(52.) FBISDR-EE, 6 January 1986.

(53.) In March 1988, General Wojciech Jaruzelski responded to the annual expressions of gratitude and support by thanking the Ecumenical Council's members for their "consistently patriotic attitude and commitment to cultivation of civic virtues, limitation of social maladies, and establishment of the climate of tolerance and cooperation." See FBISDR-EE, 25 March 1988.

(54.) Religion in Communist Lands 10 (1982): 214.

(55.) Keston News Service, no. 171, 18 April 1983.

(56.) Reported in Keston News Service, nos. 279, 9 July 1987 and 283, 10 September 1987, respectively.

(57.) Keston News Service, no. 289, 3 December 1987. Details of the meeting's discussions were not made public.

(58.) Rocznik statystyczny 52 (Warsaw: Glowny Urzad Statystyczny, 1992): 60, table 35/97.

(59.) Keston News Service, no. 238, 14 November 1985.

(60.) Rocznik polityczny i gospodarczy 1988 (Warsaw: Glowny Urzad Statystyczny, 1989):

(61.) FBISDR-EE, 17 May 1989, quoting an interview by Deputy Prime Minister Kazimierz Bacikowski in Polityka, 6 May 1989.

(62.) Details of the cemetery vandalism in Keston News Service, no. 344, 22 February 1990, and the arson attacks in no. 355, 26 July 1990. Belief that Catholic sources were behind these attacks were voiced by, among others, Bishop Abel of the newly-constituted Diocese of Lublin-Chelm, in an interview published in Zeszyty Historyczne 100 (Paris: 1992): 37.

(63.) Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, "Bishops Call for the Return of Religious Instruction in Schools," Radio Free Europe Report on Eastern Europe (hereafter RFE-REE) 1 (8 June 1990): 35-37.

(64.) Keston News Service, no. 356, 9 August 1990.

(65.) Keston News Service, no. 357, 30 August 1990 and FBISDR-EE, 15 November 1990. 66. Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczypospolitej Polski 1991, no. 66, law 312.

(67.) "Interview with Bishop Abel," Zeszyty Historyczne, 27.

(68.) Ibid., 40-41.

(69.) The pope's appeal came during his 1991 visit to Poland, when he met with the Orthodox hierarchy in the Bialystok Cathedral and accepted a share of Catholic responsibility for the interdenominahonal hostility; see Jan B. de Weydenthal, "The Pope Appeals in Poland for a Christian Europe," RFE-REE 2 (1991): 20. For Orthodox complaints about the continued Catholic offensive, see "Interview with Bishop Abel," Zeszyty Historyczne.

(70.) Quoted in Jonathan Luxmoore, "Orthodox Witness Growing in Numbers," Orthodox Observer (March 1996): 23. Bazyli also reaffirmed standard Orthodox policy of refraining from active proselytism, noting that his church had no "confessional program" to gain converts, but welcomed all those who wished to accept the faith of their own volition.

(*) EDWARD D. WYNOT, JR. (B.A., Dartmouth College; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University) is currently professor of history at Florida State University. He is author of Polish Politics in Transition: The Camp of National Unity and the struggle for Power, 1935-1939 and Warsaw between the World Wars: Profile of the Capital City in a Developing Land, 1918-1939. and is coauthor of Poland and the Coming of the Second World War: Diplomatic Papers of A.J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., 1937-1939. His articles have appeared in American Historical Review, Journal of Church and State, East European Quarterly, Nationalities Papers, Political Science Quarterly, Polish Review, and Journal of Urban History. Special interests include east central Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and more specifically, the domestic history of Poland between the world wars (1918-1939). The author is currently doing research on a book-length history of the Polish Orthodox Church in the twentieth century, and completing a survey text of East European history, 1918-1945, for Harlan Davidson's European History Series. The author would like to thank the staffs of the Woodruff and Pitts Theological Libraries at Emory University and the St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary for their research assistance for this essay, as well as the Department of History at Florida State University for providing invaluable financial assistance.
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