The present issue of the "Ethos" is entitled  P o l i s h B r e a k t h r o u g h s. It presents a collection of articles which refer, on the one hand, to the Great Jubilee of Christianity, and on the other - to the latest history of Poland. The article  F r o m t h e E d i t o r s  points to the fact that it was the truth about the Christian roots of Polish history and culture, stressed by the Holy Father during the 1979 pilgrimage to his homeland, that gave power to the nation confronted with the communist regime. This truth should not be forgotten today, in free Poland facing new political, economic and civilizational challenges. Such is the message of John Paul II's address delivered in the Parliament of the Republic of Poland on 11th June, 1999; extracts from this address open the present volume.

The first set of articles is devoted to J o h n P a u l I I's 8 0 t h B i r t h d a y C e l e b r a t e d i n t h e C a t h o l i c U n i v e r s i t y o f L u b l i n. On this occasion, the Institute of John Paul II invited two eminent guests to Lublin. Dr. Joaquín Navarro-Valls, Director of the Press Office for the Holy See, who is an eye-witness of this pontificate, described in his address the pastoral significance of the Holy Father's pilgrimages. Historian Norman Davies in turn stressed the significance of Christianity for the future of Europe, pointing to the important role of Poland's experience as well as to John Paul II's contribution to the latest events in Poland. His lecture followed the ceremony of granting him an Honorary Citizenship by the City of Lublin. Both addresses, which are included in this volume, have been preceded by extensive introductory texts by Tadeusz Styczeń, SDS.

The section entitled  T h e L e g a c y T h a t O b l i g a t e s  opens with an article by Jerzy Kłoczowski on the history and present significance of the Lublin Union of 1569, which demonstrated an example of the encounter of different traditions in Europe. Adam Konderak describes the efforts of the Polish Church to preserve the Christian legacy of the nation in communist times, stressing the significant role of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński's leadership. One of the domains which this struggle concerned was that of the education of young people. This part of the struggle for Polish culture is described by Tomasz Strzembosz in his article on the history of Polish scouting before 1989.

The succeeding section is devoted to the Polish S t r u g g l e f o r "T r u t h a n d A c t i o n." Andrzej Grzegorczyk, logician and ethicist, presents his moralistic vision of history, in which he frequently refers to the latest history of Poland. Paweł Bortkiewicz, TChr, reflects on how to pursue ethics after the experience of the Holocaust and of the 20th century totalitarianism. The article by Marek Marczewski on the so-called Polish theology of liberation advanced by Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki, Servant of God (the founder of the "Light-Life" Movement), provides an example of a soteriological understanding of the theological-ethical thought and action. Concluding this section, Fr. Alfred Wierzbicki presents a universal significance of Polish "Solidarity" by comparing this experience with Mahatma Gandhi's thought and method of action known as "Satyagraha."

The question about the  S h a p e o f P o l i s h T r a n s f o r m a t i o n s  underlies the articles included in the subsequent section, which opens with the reflections of Fr. Janusz Nagórny, theologian and moralist, on the possibility and necessary conditions of reconciliation among the Poles, who have been divided due to the socially and morally destructive influence of communism. Julian Auleytner in turn shows the necessity of active social policy on the part of the State in the time of violent economic transformations, while Dariusz Wadowski points to the growing social significance of education, taking into account the reform of education currently introduced in Poland. Ludmiła Marjańska writes about a certain cultural and moral confusion experienced by young people in Poland. John M. Grondelski refers to R. J. Neuhaus's conception of the "naked public square", pointing to its relevance to the Polish controversies over the presence of religion in public life. Fr. Adam L. Szafrański, eminent Polish theologian, analyses the situation of the Polish Church on the threshold of the 21st century, showing her drawbacks (e.g. lack of systematic social teaching) as well as her positive sides (the act of confessing the trespasses made by the Primate of Poland lately). An article by well-known Catholic publicist Stefan Wilkanowicz on the current situation of the Church in Poland broadens the perspective of these considerations.

The next two articles treat of  J o h n P a u l I I 's P o l a n d: Fr. Janusz Królikowski shows that John Paul II's presence in numerous events, as well as in various social and political contexts, should always be seen through the prism of theology, while Jerzy Bartmiński, linguist, conducts an analysis of the language style of the Pope's addresses and homilies delivered during the 1999 pilgrimage to Poland.

The subsequent section broadens the scope of the presented reflections by reference to the problems of Poland's neighbours - the Russians. Its title: L o v e E v e r y N e i g h b o u r' s N a t i o n a s M u c h a s Y o u L o v e Y o u r s, is a quotation from Russian thinker W. Soloviev. In an interview made by Maria Wrzeszcz, Stanisław Majdański speaks about having been deported, together with his family, to the Soviet Union, where they experienced the cruelty of the totalitarian system as well as human kind-heartedness. Grzegorz Przebinda describes the encounters of two famous Russian intellectuals: A. Sacharov and A. Solzhenitshyn, with the Pope, who is a Slav himself.

In the section  I n t e r v i e w s o f t h e "E t h o s" Tadeusz Styczeń, editor-in-chief of the "Ethos," presents the profile of J. Navarro-Valls and interviews him about his life and vocation.

Tadeusz Styczeń is also the author of a poetic reflection on solidarity, freedom and truth included in the standing column  T h i n k i n g a b o u t t h e F a t h e r l a n d...

The section  N o t e s a n d R e v i e w s  opens with a text by Tomasz Wiścicki devoted to a book by Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, eminent Polish activist and social-political publicist, entitled Polska wczoraj, dziś i jutro [Poland: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow]. Cezary Ritter critically discusses Jarosław Gowin's and Roman Graczyk's views on the Church and democracy presented in the book Polski Kościół - polska demokracja [Polish Church - Polish Democracy]. Marek Marczewski discusses a volume of "Roczniki Teologiczne" [Theological Yearly], published at the Catholic University of Lublin, which is devoted to Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki. Ryszard Mordarski in turn reviews for the Polish reader a book by American author Richard McInerny entitled What Went Wrong with Vatican II. The section concludes with the  P r o p o s a l s o f t h e "E t h o s."

In the section devoted to  R e p o r t s  the reader will find only one, yet extensive, article on the activity of the National League, a local community movement which takes its roots from the "Solidarity" movement, including a report by Jarosław Kapsa, journalist for the local community magazine "Wspólnota" [Community], and Tadeusz Wrona, President of the National League, on the latest conference organized by the National League in the series "Pro-Family Policy of the Local Community."

The section  T h e P o n t i f i c a t e i n t h e E y e s o f t h e W o r l d  includes the script of the lecture delivered by Bp Andreas Laun at the session of the Pontifical Academy for Life held on the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical Evangelium vitae.

In the standing column  T h r o u g h t h e P r i s m o f t h e E t h o s  eminent German philosopher Robert Spaemann considers the controversy over prenatal counselling in Germany, in order to support and justify the argument against undertaking evil actions for a good aim.

The volume concludes with a  B i b l i o g r a p h y  of John Paul II's addresses delivered during the seventh pilgrimage to his homeland (by Maria  F i l p i a k) and with N o t e s a b o u t t h e A u t h o r s.