Polish Catholicism plays an enormous role in defining and building the Poles' identity. The equating of nationality with Catholicism is one of the most striking features of that identity. The roots of this process go back to the 19th century, with Romanticism playing an especially important role in it. Nonetheless it was only the ideology formulated by Roman Dmowski and the National Democrats led by him that was responsible for the extreme nationalist tenor of the 'Polish and Catholic' combination. Its characteristic features were anti-Semitism and extremist chauvinism, while the political successes and popularity of this political formation among the Roman Catholic clergy gave it an air of social acceptability. The objective of the article is not only to remind the readers of this affiliation, embarrassing for Catholicism itself, but also to point to its vivid presence in Polish Catholicism of the present day.
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