Katolickie czasopiśmiennictwo społeczne w Polsce w dwudziestoleciu międzywojennym

Czesław Strzeszewski


The Catholic press in Poland between 1918 and 1939 was very developed. It was comprised of one hundred publications with a circulation of over one and half million. The Father Kolbe Publishing House enjoyed the largest circulation in Poland both in weeklies and dailies.

This article deals only with the Catholic press in its social aspects. The monthly "Prąd” (published by the Students’ Association ’’Odrodzenie” and later by Father A. Szymański, Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin), ’’Przewodnik Społeczny” (published by the Catholic Social School in Poznań), and ’’Ruch Katolicki” — the organ of the Catholic Action belonged to the most important and representative group of periodicals dealing with social issues. Other periodicals devoted less attention to these matters with the exception of ’’Przegląd Powszechny” — the Jesuit publication and ’’Ateneum Kapłańskie” in Włocławek.

The religio-social orientations of Catholic periodicals were either of local, universal, elitist or mass character. The main social problems dealt with were: nationalism, the Jewish question, the role and goals of the state, the problem of the possibility of a Catholic political party, private property, work, Christian syndication, cooperative movement, cultural policy, fight against pornography and others.

The author recognizes the great impact of Catholic periodicals upon their readers, and cites examples from post-war research of the reading public.

The problem of the promotion of religious life and Christian thought which except for press was rather neglected in the pre-war mass-media is also discussed. The Polish Episcopacy tried to organize the Catholic press and to provide it with means of gathering information. To achieve this goal, the Catholic Press Agency and periodic meetings of Catholic journalists were organized. The Kolbe Publishing House is an example of the introduction of modern methods to press activities and of a new structure of printing and circulation. The author’s research proves that the work of the Catholic press in pre-war Poland must be considered valuable.

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