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Abstract

The subject matter dealt with in this article fits into a broader discussion on sovereignty and patriotism, which has intensified since Poland’s accession to the European Union. It is also associated with the topical issue of patriotic education of children and adolescents, in which the Church engages along with the family and the school (e.g. as part of religion lessons, parochial catechesis, specialist pastoral work). When taking up the subject matter described in the title, the author first focused on whether now, in a changed historical context, speaking about patriotism and patriotic attitudes is still sensible and whether a Christian can (should) be a patriot. When seeking an answer to this question, a reference was made mainly to the Letter of the Polish Episcopate On Christian Patriotism, issued on the 200th anniversary of the first partition of Poland, and to the document of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate prepared by the Council for Social Matters, entitled The Christian Shape of Patriotism. It was against this background that an answer was sought to the question about patriotic content in homilies and catechesis. Homilies delivered by St. John Paul II during his pilgrimages to his homeland were used as a model in this regard. The basic assumptions of the religion teaching syllabus for schools and parochial catechesis, which refer at multiple points to patriotism as a value, emphasising the importance of developing an attitude of respect and love for one’s homeland and its cultural heritage, as well as a motivation to actively participate in social life, were also discussed.
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