DOI: https://doi.org/10.15581/011.6.449-489

Les bases juridiques de l'enseignement religieux catholique dans les écoles en Pologne (1918-1978)

 -Tadeusz Pieronek


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Resumen

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After regaining its independence in 1918 Poland inherited three different legal systems: Russian, German /Prussian/ and Austrian. Each of these systems treated the religious instruction in schools in a different way but the most advantageous was the Austrian system.
Religious instruction as an important element of state policy and at the same time the matter of great concern of the Church, constituted the subject of discussions before the introduction of the constitution of the Polish Republic. The Church and the political parties which were orientated towards it demanded the creation of a constitutional basis of religious instruction. The constitution passed by the Polish Parliament in March, 1921, accepted the model of the so called mixed denominational school with religious instruction as an obligatory subject in elementary and secondary schools, both state and stateaided. The Concordat between Poland and the Apostolic See signed in 1925 confirmed the constitutional rules and made possible the introduction of obligatory religious instruction in schools. Detailed regulations covered all matters connected with the organization of religious instruction, programmes and supervision, as well as the duties of teachers and religious practices of pupils.
In spite of constant demands of the Church to introduce the system of denominational schools, the general reform of the Polish education system of 1932 retained the existing system of mixed denominational schools confirmed by the second Polish constitution of April, 1935.
The educational authorities in this period were, in general, favourable towards the Catholic Church and, in practice, implemented many of its demands. The religious instruction was a leading subject in schools combined with education based on Christian faith which, in fact, brought the Polish schools from before 1939 closer to the model of denominational school.
During the II-nd World War the occupation authorities maintained the principle of religious instruction in schools, but seriously obstructed its implementation in practice.
After the war, the authorities of the Polish People's Republic based its policy in the field of religion on Marxist principles. Already in 1945 the religious instruction ceased to be obligatory and the authorities consequently aimed at the secularization of the school system. However, religious instruction in schools continued till the fifties and was reintroduced for a short time in 1956. In 1961 the religious instruction definitely ceased in all schools and the legal basis far teaching of religion beyond schools has been created in the so called catechization centres and in churches. This system has been in force in Poland until the present day.

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Tadeusz Pieronek e-mail (Inicie sesión)

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