Assessing Trump in Poland: A Most Faith-Filled Speech From a Most Unlikely Source
National Catholic Register, 13 July 2017
The text of the president’s speech was marvelous; it’s the context that may cause trouble.
President Donald Trump delivered one of the most Catholic speeches in recent memory in Warsaw on July 6, 2017. And Catholics may well be nervous about that.
Trump was full of praise for Poland’s two centuries of courage and fidelity on the front lines of freedom. Very specifically, he identified the key date in recent Polish history as the day that St. John Paul II returned home for the first time:
“And when the day came on June 2, 1979, and 1 million Poles gathered around Victory Square for their very first Mass with their Polish Pope, that day, every communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down. ... They must have known it at the exact moment during Pope John Paul II’s sermon, when a million Polish men, women and children suddenly raised their voices in a single prayer. A million Polish people did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, 1 million Poles sang three simple words: ‘We want God.’ ... As I stand here today, before this incredible crowd, this faithful nation, we can still hear those voices that echo through history. Their message is as true today as ever. The people of Poland, the people of America, and the people of Europe still cry out: ‘We want God.’”
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