Few people in Poland know that the Polish Brethren were the first Polish emigration. In 1658 year by the resolution of the Polish Parliament they were accused of supporting Swedes during the Flood, and then forced to either turn to Catholicism or to leave the Republic of Poland. It was the emigration due to religious persecutions. It brought financial benefits to the Catholics who took over the properties of dissenterous nobility. Those of the Catholics who were severely in debt now felt as if they no longer had to pay them.
Exile of the Polish Brethren meant the end of a tolerance period and of the Golden Age. Counter-reformation destroyed civil liberties and brought times of anarchy of the gentry. At the end Catholic Parliament signed the partitions of the Republic of Poland in cooperation with the episcopal!
Those who rose this nation up were now thrown away from the Republic of Poland. They began an excellent education system, restored our own language after time of domination of Latin, initiated the discussion about enfranchisement of peasants, treated their wives as partners, etc.
Their achievements were used abroad. T. Jefferson co-founder of the American Constitution stated that while writing the Bill of rights about freedom of conscience, assemblies and freedom of speech he was inspired by the works of the Polish Brethren.
Rakowski catechism is listed by UNESCO as one of the most important works of the history of the mankind. This is one of the first positions proclaiming the rule of religious tolerance for everyone. But who knows that in Poland?!
Until today none of Polish Parliaments have rehabilitated the Polish Brethren! It indicates that we still live in post Jesuit country. That first emigration entailed all the other emigrations because post Jesuit country is not able to ensure prosperity and safety for its citizens.
If we want to stop exile trend among the Polish people, we have to deal with real causes of the first emigration and to eliminate them. When conditions are created for the Polish people to come back from emigration and for the new golden age to begin here, these people shall return to Poland.
It is time to rehabilitate the Polish Brethren finally and to restore their rightful place in history and not to rob them of achievements and then assign them to the Catholic Church.
20 August 2015