This letter received from Jacek, a fairly typical Polish nationalist, is also typical of one of the more destructive errors that ever helped to sunder the unity and peace of Christendom.
I speak of the disease of fanatical nationalism.
Nationalism is NOT patriotism.
Nationalism is a form of political psychopathy and it became the tool and offspring of self-worshipping, political psychopaths.
It is the enemy of Christendom and the plaything of Satan.
It was invented at the Protestant Reformation with the deliberate intention of bringing about the destruction of Catholic Christendom.
It is yet another of the evils that the Protestant Reformation brought into the world.
The picture is of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a fanatical Polish nationalist, Freemason, and revolutionary whose uprising seriously damaged his own country and led to the Third Partition of Poland.
Here's Jacek's letter, written in response to a comment from me:
'And what did the Austrians do soon afterwards? Help partition Poland-wipe it off the map. Some gratitude.'
In reference to your responce to above quote:
Firstly, why do you assume this comment was made by a Pole?
Secondly, if it was made by a Pole (it likely was), why would you assume it was supported by a nationalist viewpoint? I do not know how one can tell. In fact, as a Pole I could positively say the sentiment underlying in that comment is universal among Poles precisely as an expression of our faithfullness to the Holy Mother Church and self-identificaton as Catholics first. We resent the Habsburgs' land grab of Galicia with Lwów and Lesser Poland with Kraków (in your post you mention the agreement between Leopold and John regarding mutual defence of the capital cities - well, less then a hundred years after Poles saved Habsburgs and Vienna from being finished off in the most ignominious way imaginable the Habsburgs were occuping our glorious city of Cracow). But what we resent the most is that after John III, Defender of the Faith, Lion of Lechistan saved the Habsburgs and whole Christendom from Armageddon in 1683, the same Habsburgs, Holy Roman Emperors, in their land grab of 1774 (1th...) and 1795 (3th partition of Poland) allied themselvs against Kingdom of Poland with P r o t e s t a n t Prussia and S c h i s m a t i c Russia. Against Kingdom of Poland upon which Pope Aleksander VII bestow a title of Regnum Orthodoxum - the Most Orthodox Kingdom (as in case of France - Regnum Christianissimum; and Spain - Regnum Catholicissimum). Against Kingdom of Poland - Antemurale Christianitatis.
You call Louis XIV "devious". Louis XIV was a saint when compered to Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Finally, if it was made by a Pole who does not share the above-mentioned Catholic sentiment, why would you assume he is 'fanatic nationalist'. Can't he just be a Polish patriot. Are you of opinion that a patriot 'cannot be called Christian in any meaningful sense of the word'? To that I say: Amor Patriae Nostra Lex (latin proverb that was common inscription on sabres carried by Polish nobility and in turn Hussars that led the way in 1683, sabres that defended Christianitas for centuries).
Concluding, I could go into great detail debating some of the statements you made in your 'To all fanatical nationalists ...' comment, including the issue of nationalism, Polish involvement in the Napoleonic Wars, Irish conflict. However, before I do that, I would like you to clarify what you mean by "LITTLE NATIONALITIES" and whether you stand by that phrase.
1. Despite some minor inaccuracies it is a great post you have written on Battle of Vienna. I would just recomend you add this picture of John III Sobieski
http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plik:Jan_III_Sobieski_2.PNG&filetimestamp=20080224210817 picture of John III Sobieski.
2. I am not a native english speaker. I apologize for the possible mistakes. I do not think I misspelled anything but I struggle with english interpunction at times"
I answer thus.
First, Jacek, try to remember one important thing, if you can: the Habsburgs were CATHOLIC, unlike the Protestant Prussians and the Orthodox Russians.
I repeat: they were CATHOLIC.
That means they were of the religion of which you, a Polish nationalist, boast. And yet you despise them! Where is your charity? Drowned in fanatical nationalism?
The arms of the Imperial House of Austria that ruled the Holy Roman Empire, the very sheet anchor of Catholic Christendom, for many centuries.
Secondly, try to understand this: Catholicism is NOT - repeat NOT - Polish nationalism. They are DIFFERENT things.
I realise this is hard for a Polish nationalist to grasp but it is nonetheless true.
Thirdly, try to understand that my theme is Catholic Christendom and that to compare Louis XIV with Joseph II is ENTIRELY TO MISS THE POINT BECAUSE BOTH OF THEM WERE NOT REALLY TRUE CATHOLICS.
They were no more so than Józef Piłsudski and Edward Śmigły-Rydz, two fanatical Polish nationalists, were.
Your comparison therefore is of little worth.
The truth about the Polish partitions
The First Partition of Poland came about as a result of the failure of the Polish-Luthanian Commonwealth which had been heavily influenced by the Protestant Reformation and had lapsed into political chaos, not least becuase of the anarchic effect of the so-called liberum veto which enabled any member of the Sejm to veto any proposed Act of the Sejm.
The Polish Sejm in 1622.
This parliament was another example of what Europe was already doing long before America even thought of it. However, the Sejm was rendered unworkable by the excessively democratic power of the liberum veto allowing every member to veto any proposed legislation at any time.
This was based upon an idea of the equality of the Polish Schlacta or nobility, which had been inflamed by the excessive individualism of the Protestant Reformation which, until the coming of the Jesuits, had made great inroads into the noble families of Poland.
The Jesuits, happily, brought the Catholic Reformation to Poland and restored Catholicism to the noble families.
The Commonwealth had become a tool of Russian foreign policy and, almost inevtiably, Russia soon formalised this state of affairs by signalling to Prussian and Austria that it intended to annex part of Poland.
Prussia greedily agreed as it wanted to close the Danzig corridor and unite East and West Prussia.
Holy Roman Empress Maria-Theresa.
She was a devout Catholic and a good ruler but ruled at a time when the Enlightenment was seeking to destroy all Catholic monarchy and replace it with a more secularised rule. Despite being surrounded on all sides by enemies, she managed to rule well.
The Holy Roman Empress, Maria Theresa, objected, and always continued to object, to the partition of Poland but her hand was forced, partly by the political machinations of her Prime Minister, Count, later Prince, Kaunitz who was an Enlightenment figure, and therefore not really Catholic, and was, himself, something of a nationalist, and partly by Russia and Prussia.
You wrongly and ungratefully give her no credit for her objection.
Wenzel Anton, Prince-Imperial of Kaunitz-Rietberg, Imperial Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire. Although nominally Catholic, Kaunitz was actually an Enlightenment figure and a Freemason, secretly opposed to his monarch and the Church.
Kaunitz persuaded her on the basis that if she did not annex a part of Poland, then Russian and Prussia might divide the remainder amongst themselves which might present a later threat to the security of the Holy Roman Empire.
Further, one cannot deny that all of central Europe was once part of the Holy Roman Empire, including Poland and that under the rule of that Empire, distinct nationalities and races had always been respected, preserved and protected.
You simply ignore these very salient facts in your narrow, hasty, imprudent and prejudicial Polish nationalism.
The Holy Roman Empire played no part in the Second Partition of Poland and objected to it.
The Third Partition of Poland came about thanks to the very fanatical nationalist uprising led by Tadeusz Kościuszko who was no Catholic but, far from it, a libertine, a revolutionary and a self-promoter who sought the downfall of Christendom, just as his idol Bonaparte had done.
He was so strongly opposed by Polish conservatives that they sought the aid of Tsarina Catherine the Great to defeat him. That inevitably led to the Third Partition and, again, since Russia and Prussia were involved, the Holy Roman Empire had also to be involved in order to protect its own security.
Tsarina Catherine the Great, Tsarina of all the Russias. She was a powerful and tyrannical ruler who seized Polish territory on the pretext that it really belonged to Russia. In the end, even Polish conservatives were forced to turn to her for aid against wild revolutionaries like Tadeusz Kościuszko.
Most famously of all, Polish language, culture and nationality were closely protected and encouraged within the Holy Roman Empire but were crushed in Russia and Prussia.
In your fanatical nationalism, you give absolutely no credit to the Holy Roman Empire and its Habsburg rulers for this incontrovertible fact.
In the end, where did your fanatical nationalism lead?
It lead to further fanaticism under Józef Piłsudski and Edward Śmigły-Rydz which, in turn, led to conquest by Nazi Germany and then by Communist Russia.
Marshal Józef Piłsudski is considered a great Polish "patriot" but he was a fanatical nationalist and more secular than Christian. Polish political leader, Roman Dmowski, called him "a great sinner" and recognised in him a man who loved power more than faith and truth.
Marshal Edward Śmigły-Rydz was deputy, and later rival, to Piłsudski. He sided with the Socialists and then later became friendly with the Fascists, running Poland himself as a dictator and was a political enemy of General Sikorski. He was the Commander-in-Chief at the time of the German invasion of Poland and escaped to Romania where he was interned.
Now it has led to a Poland, under the rule of ex-Communist apparatchiks, capitulating to the bullying tactics of the European Union.
Of all the external rulers that Poland has had, they never had it so good as under the rule of the Habsburg emperors within the Holy Roman Empire.
But the blindness of fanatical nationalism will not allow them to see it.
Conclusion - I therefore repeat my comment
I repeat what I said in my original comment.
To all fanatical nationalists around the world:
THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOUR PETTY NATIONALITIES.
Nationalism is what led to most of the wars of the 19th century and the appalling destruction of World War I and World War II.
Christian Europe and Christendom were one.
Fanatical nationalism - invented chiefly by Protestantism - sundered Europe into fragments and led to the bloody and internecine war, killing millions.
Hungary claimed the right to be free from the Empire whilst crushing and oppressing its own minorities.
The Poles did not distinguish themselves when they sided with the anti-Catholic, Pope-imprisoning and mass-slaughtering Bonaparte - the first of the great modern destroyers of Christian Europe.
Even now, when my post praises the Poles who fought at the Battle of Vienna, anonymous Poles can do nothing but snipe ungratefully.
But this is typical of the disease of nationalist fanaticism.
In Ireland it led to terrorism, war, and the murder of Irishman by Irishman - a disgusting legacy that achieved nothing good and mountains of evil.
Blessed are the peace-makers.
"Blessed are the peace-makers" says Christ.
"Blessed are the terrorists, bomb-throwers, murderers, war-mongers and slaughterers" says the fanatical nationalist.
Fanatical nationalists cannot be called Christian in any meaningful sense of the word.
In fact, I would go further.
Fanatical nationalism was the deceitful tool that Satan used to destroy Christian Europe.
Satan tempted Christ with all the kingdoms of the world, just as he tempted men to overthrow Christendom through nationalism and, even now, tempts men to become fanatical nationalists and put their own selfish aims before that of mankind and their fellow men. His real aim is to get men to worship him and reject God.
Catholics have no excuse for it. They, of all people, should understand the universality of Christianity and the brotherhood of all mankind.
A Catholic who is a fanatical nationalist is a perfect servant of Satan
So, dear Jacek, I urge and implore you: be a Polish patriot, be a lover of your great country, but do not be a fanatical nationalist who cannot see beyond the border of his own country and people and even goes so far as to hate those of his own religion because they are not also of his race.
Racism, whether Polish or otherwise, has no place in Catholicism or Catholic Christendom.
What matters is truth, not race; Christ, not just one's own country and people.
As Christians we are called to love all men and to love the truth, not to be narrow, little fanatical nationalist racists.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Polish people today are not fanatical but usually charitable to all. In our day, it is clear that our Lady has indeed smiled upon them.
Long may it be so!
Our Lady, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa,
pray for Poland!
pray for Poland!