East Saves West?

UPDATE: Mark at Rise and Pray posts on the plight of the migrant workers from Eastern Europe in the UK.

This article in The Times of London is important not so much for the fact that the Catholic Church is on the ascendant in England, but for three other important factors that the journalist misses.
First, the huge influx of Catholics from Eastern Europe shows the universality of the Catholic Church. When committed Catholics like the Poles travel they turn up at church. Catholics may be divided by culture, language, economic status and perspective, but there is more, much more that unites them than divides.

Second, all the doomsayers moan about the ‘Islamization’ of Europe. They rightly point out the declining birth rate amongst Europeans and the increase of Muslims. What they haven’t counted on is the influx of Eastern Europeans that is coming with the expansion of the European Community. This article highlights just one aspect of the new immigration. We may not see the re-evangelization of Europe from within, but we may see a new springtime of Catholicism in Western Europe as Catholics from the old Iron Curtain countries surge West.

These Catholics are used to living in a materialistic, atheistic, anti-Christian state. They should feel right at home in Western Europe, and with any luck they will keep the faith and exercise the same subversive influence there that they did in Eastern Europe twenty years ago.

Finally, people continually overlook the greatness of Poland and the Polish people. They were the ones who, from time immemorial have stood bravely against aggressors–even when they failed to overcome their spirits were never overcome. The Poles gave us John Paul the Great. the Poles were the lynch pin in the overthrow of communism. Perhaps it will be the Poles who, by their migration west, help to save Europe from the Islamicization that threatens Europe.

Our Lady of Czestecowa pray for England. Our Lady of Walsingham pray for Poland.

  • bernadette

    This is very encouraging. I had to do a double-take on the front page of The Times newspaper yesterday with its headline declaring that the Catholic church is now bigger than the CofE over here. It is easy to be overwhelemed by other things (encroaching Islam, increasing secularistic legislation and a determination to cull any MP or public figure of Christian witness in the UK.) Poland and JP 11, as you say have been a real spark which has spread across Europe. We must not forget St Faustina, either – i`m sure she has helped. In our rural parish we see the church full of seasonal fruit pickers from eastern Europe and we now offer a Polish Mass for them from April to October. what is striking is their total reverence for The Eucharist as they go up to receive Jesus, AND how they will NOT join the queue to receive Jesus if they have not been to confession. We can learn so much from them. I am sure they are a huge blessing to the UK and other parts of Europe.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06566476650295000486 Histor the Wise

    Brace yourself for the “Islam is the New World Order! Nobody will ever defeat it unless we nuke Mecca! AAAAAAAGpH!”All the same, the UK sounds like a good breeding ground for martyrs, saints, and suchlike.

  • Anonymous

    The Church in England from the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s onwards has depended upon immigrants and converts for its strength. In recent years this has been seen even more strongly, people from all over the world make up a significant proportion of British Catholic congregations; in some instances they are in the majority. Now we have the Poles coming to invigorate waning Catholic parishes. From the Catholic perspective this is to be welcomed but there are also drawbacks. First, most of the Poles are young and, through their British peer group, they will become part of a secularised society eaten up with consumerism and lax morals, It won’t take long for this to have an adverse effect. What might come to the rescue, however, is the inevitable creation of Polish churches in the cities with national congregations. In the long term this won’t help the diocesan parishes. Many of the young Poles at present intend to stay for a short time until they make enough money to build pleasant homes and re-start life in Poland. Some will stay, as their forebears did during the war. But I should not guarantee a permanent revival of the Church in England’s fortunes on what might turn out to be a temporary phenomenon. The Poles are wonderful people but if you talk to many Polish priests they are worried about the future of the Church in their country. It has survived through persecution and invasion, but once that is removed the softening effects of materialism are bound to have an adverse influence on their fidelity. Remember Pope John Paul II’s anxiety at the signs of decline after the fall of Communism. Another factor is that mamy young Polish priests are keen to embrace Vatican II as it was hardly implemented in the country during the Communist era. This is bound to lead to misunderstandings when the conformist pressure of the past is lifted, whatever Vatican policy is in force. There ar few more inspiring expressions of Catholicism than the Polish but it tends to be introverted rather than assimilative.

  • Anonymous

    Look, I don’t want to criticise any particular group, but I often find a kind of romanticising of the Poles as a bastion of catholicity on various blogs. The fact of the matter is that after 1945, the Poles fell upon the Germans in a way that paradoxically reminds one of the Nazis themselves: they drove out (with the Bolshevik Russians) 15 million people from German territories, killed two million, and facilitated in wiping out the cultures in Silesia, Pommerania and West and East Prussia. The Holy See itself did not recognise the new Polish bishops foisted on these territories for several years. So, do I admire Poland? Yes, for saving Christendom at Vienna. But do I think there is some essentialist purity attached to Poland…em, no way. More interesting will be their impact in heavily Muslim cities like Manchester or Birmingham.Best,michaelk borussia