Friday, December 22, 2006

Christ is King in Poland (maybe)

From the Associated Press:

WARSAW, Poland—Lawmakers have drawn up a resolution naming Jesus Christ as the honorary king of Poland, but have failed to win support from the country's powerful Roman Catholic church.

Lawmakers for the ruling Law and Justice party and League of Polish Families as well as the opposition Peasants Party back the resolution, said Szymon Ruman, spokesman for parliamentary speaker Marek Jurek.

However, the proposal currently has the support of only 46 members in the 460-seat parliament, well short of the necessary 231 votes to pass. Ruman said the resolution would likely be voted on sometime after Jan. 1.

Backing from the church in this strongly Catholic country would be crucial for building support for the proposal, but on Wednesday several bishops criticized it, and said parliament should stay out of religious affairs.

"Let parliament deal with passing better laws that we need," Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski said. "This kind of action, although it may stem from good will, sounds a bit like propaganda," said bishop Tadeusz Pieronk.

This is a very Polish bill. The dominant Catholic culture in Poland has traditionally acknowledged Jesus as the true and only King of Poland, along with Mary as Queen (or more accurately, Queen Mother). In 1655, in thanksgiving for peace, King Jan Kazimierz proclaimed Mary to be Quen of Poland. That proclamation promised special Polish fealty to Mary and reliance upon her saintly guradianship. The Polishness of late servant of God, John Paul II was a part of his geopolitical outlook. We see can see that throughout his pontificate--for example in a speech to the Vatican diplomatic corps in 1990, the Pope asserted, "Christ is the sole strength of Europe and the King of all nations."

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