Religion. – For the evangelization of Poland, as for the victory of Roman Catholicism against the reformed currents, see below: History. Here it will suffice to underline once again the importance that the religious factor also had for the civil history of the Polish nation. For Poland religion, please check thereligionfaqs.com.
In the constitution of 1921, articles 111 and 112 guaranteed to all citizens the freedom of conscience and religion, in the ambit of morality, public order and the laws of the state; Articles 115 and 116 established the formation of regulatory laws and the recognition of religious minorities and religious associations not contrary to morality and public order; art. 114 assured the Catholic religion, professed by the majority, the pre-eminence among confessions equal in law. The new constitution does not innovate on the subject. The concordat with the Holy See of 10 February 1925 grants the Catholic Church various privileges.
There is a triple Catholic hierarchy in Poland, according to the three Latin, Ruthenian and Armenian rites. To the former belong the five ecclesiastical provinces of Krakow (10th century; metropolitan since 28 October 1925) with suffragans Częstochowa (1925), Katowice (1925), Kielce (1805; suppressed, 1818; re-established, 1882), Tarnów (1785); of Gniezno and Poznań (10th century; metropolitan and union, 1821; Poznań residence) with suffragans Chelmno (1243), Włocławek (or Kalisz; 12th century); Lviv (1412), with suffragans Łuck (13th century; united with Žytomir, 1798; separated, 1925), Przemyśl (13th century); Warsaw (1798; underground, 1818), with suffragans Łódź (1920), Lublin (1805; united with Siedlce, 1818, separated, 1867), Plock (10th century), Sandomierz (1818), Siedlce (1925; formerly Janów, 1818); from Vilna (14th century, metropolitan, 1925), with suffragans Łomża (1925), Pińsk (1925). The archbishopric of Lviv (1156; metropolitan, 1303; united the title of Halicz and the bishopric of Kamenec) belongs to the Ruthenian rite, with suffragane Przemyśl (1087) and Stanisławów (1885); to the Armenian rite, the archbishopric of Lviv (1626).
The papal nuncio to Poland also has jurisdiction over Gdansk.
The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Poland has a metropolitan in Warsaw, also archbishop of Volhynia, and bishops in Vilna, Grodno and Pińsk.
There are also Lutheran churches (Augusta confession) in Warsaw, Vilna and Stanisławów, Evangelical churches in Warsaw, Poznań and Vilna.
Among the Christian sects, the mariavites deserve particular mention, who have an archbishop in Płock. There are numerous Jews, organized in communities in the main cities; and a Karaite community, with a hacham in Troki. There are also Muslims, with a mufti in Vilna.
According to estimated data (1932), the division of the population according to religion is as follows: Catholics, 74.9%; Orthodox, 12.5%; Jews, 9.6%; Protestants, 2.7%; others, 0.3%.
School. – Everything that refers to the organization of public education of any degree is submitted to the Ministry of Public Education and Cults. With the decree of February 7, 1919, public education of 6 or 7 years was made compulsory (ages 7-13), and entrusted to teachers dependent on the state. Poland, having in 1919 different school systems in the various regions, both for the programs and the division of schools, as well as for the level corresponding to the degree to which public education was carried out, had to pay attention to the adaptation of these systems to the new needs. Thus the ministry’s activity in the early years was directed to the aim of unifying the school systems then in force, conforming them to the conditions of state life. L’ the entire realization of this task took place with the law of 11 March 1932, with which all schools were divided into four levels of teaching: 7 elementary teaching courses, 4 of gymnasium, 2 of high school, followed by the university teaching. Outside this division are the lower and middle professional schools, that is, industrial, master’s, agriculture and trades schools, also subject to the direction of the ministry.
The coordination of the schools of the different grades is presented in the following way. The task of the elementary school is to prepare the youth either directly for economic life, or for the lower vocational school (agriculture, crafts), or for the gymnasium. The gymnasium, on the other hand, prepares pupils either in high school, through which they pass to the university, or to the middle vocational school (agriculture, technology, industry, teaching). Secondary vocational schools also offer the possibility of passing a supplementary exam to high school.
In the year 1932-33 there were in Poland: 26,875 primary schools with 4,329,000 pupils, 725 middle schools (high school-gymnasium), 593 vocational schools, 195 master’s schools, 28 high schools. This last figure includes the universities of Krakow, Lviv, Warsaw, Poznań, Vilna and the Catholic University of Lublin, polytechnics, higher institutes of agronomy and commerce.
In the latest law, the government also dealt with programs, considering the public school as a function of the state. This law tends to ensure that the school not only has a purely informative character, but contributes to the moral and social formation of young people, to provide the republic with citizens who are aware of the problems of the country’s cultural, economic, social and political life.
Conforming to this general assumption, the teaching programs and pedagogical directives were conditioned by the specific problems of the country and put into function of the economic and social life of the state. In elementary schools, in addition to other subjects, the craft (manual work) is taught, in schools of all grades special attention is paid to physical education and the entire teaching organization is aligned to its social purpose defined by the aforementioned law. As for the arrangement of the programs, the new law tries to find the basis and the criterion in the psychological moments determining the physical and moral development of the youth, in the cultural structure of the nation, in the historical, geographical and economic conditions of the country. Thus the
The general character of the school system in Poland in its presuppositions is similar to that presented by Italy, since it corresponds to the concept of the public school as a political school. The main differences compared to the Italian school system are the curricula: the school curricula in Poland try to give greater emphasis to the teaching of natural sciences, believing that these contribute to the greatest degree to the intellectual formation of pupils. Therefore great attention is paid to the work in the laboratories of physics, chemistry and natural sciences.