Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Stephen Berk




Poland, catholic, reglion, partition, national identity


Poland is home to arguably the most loyal and devout Catholics in Europe. A brief examination of the country’s history indicates that Polish society has been subjected to a variety of politically, religiously, and socially oppressive forces that have continually tested the strength of allegiance to the Catholic Church. Through the partition period, the Nazi and Soviet invasions during World War II, and the institution of communist power following the close of World War II, the Polish people met religious hostility that threatened to permanently sever Polish faith to the Catholic Church. However, despite attempts to break Polish allegiance to the Catholic Church, Polish faith did not diminish, and in the case of the communist era, it strengthened. This thesis will argue that Polish loyalty to the Catholic Church is a product of historical associations of Catholicism as a symbol of national identity in addition to the guidance and leadership provided by a number of prominent Polish Catholic officials. With these two factors, the Catholic Church in Poland was able to overcome ideological and logistical barriers placed by the communist regime in order to maintain feelings of hope and optimism among the Polish people.