The Catholic 1968: Poland, Social Justice, and the Global Cold War

Piotr H. Kosicki
2018 Slavic Review: Interdisciplinary Quarterly of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies  
In the 1960s, the Catholic Church underwent a revolution in the teaching and practice of its faith, known as aggiornamento. Catholics responded by pioneering new forms of agency in world affairs in the Global Sixties. This was a cross-Iron Curtain story, affecting communist and non-communist countries in Europe, as well as developing countries across the world – a story of transfers and encounters unfolding simultaneously along multiple geographical axes: "East-West," "North-South," and
more » ... uth." The narrative anchor for this story is the year 1968. This article explores the seminal role of east European Catholics in this story, focusing on Polish Catholic intellectuals as they wrote and rewrote global narratives of political economy and sexual politics. A global Catholic conversation on international development stalled as sexual politics reinforced Cold War and post-colonial divisions, with the Second and Third Worlds joining forces against First World critics of a new papal teaching on contraception, Humanae Vitae. Paradoxically, the Soviet Bloc became the prism through which the Catholic Church refracted a new vision of international development for the Third World.
doi:10.1017/slr.2018.203 fatcat:63flfr7xingzdnfsascqlw6hhi