Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

11/9/2009 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Newt and Callista Gingrich are hosting a new film, coming in January, that shows the impact of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Poland.

Nine Days that Changed the World is a story of human liberation. It reveals how Pope John Paul II’s historic visit helped the Poles not only find their courage, but also reclaim their culture. This film presents the Pope’s message -- that after the lies of Nazism and Communism, authentic human freedom is only possible through a true understanding of our humanity.

Nine Days that Changed the World is a story of human liberation. It reveals how Pope John Paul II’s historic visit helped the Poles not only find their courage, but also reclaim their culture. This film presents the Pope’s message -- that after the lies of Nazism and Communism, authentic human freedom is only possible through a true understanding of our humanity.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/9/2009 (4 years ago)

Published in U.S.



WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) The visit of Pope John Paul II to his native Poland June 2-10, 1979 did more than just encourage a nation. It was the beginning point for the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of Communisms grip on Eastern Europe, and a new Europe.

Thirty years later the full impact of this historic papal journey is the subject of a new film, Nine Days that Changed the World. Produced by Citizens United, Gingrich Productions, and Peace River Company LLC, the documentary is hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich.

Catholic Online had an opportunity to talk with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich about the film as well as what he envisions as its impact on audiences here in the United States and around the world.

Initial thoughts about a documentary on the Popes visit to Poland began about five years ago when Callista Gingrich was part of a trip to Rome with the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Newt had been reading George Weigels book, Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism. Through the book and conversations with Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the D.C. basilica, parallels between issues of Western Europe under Communism and increasing secularism in America began to crystallize.

The project really became clear during the filming of another documentary "Ronald Reagan: Rendezvous with Destiny." As Gingrich said, "When doing that film we saw the important influence of John Paul II had on the people.

Even in his famous Tear Down This Wall speech, Reagan referred to the role of faith in the last part of the speech the importance of faith.

One-third of Poland saw the Pope during that visit, Gingrich went on to say. He reminded them that their roots and their identity were Christian. They were a Catholic people.

Communist leaders pressured Poland to block the visit, but the persistence of the Vatican won out. As Time Magazine stated, Returning to his homeland for the first time since he was chosen Pope last October, Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, stirred an outpouring of trust and affection that no political leader in today's world could hope to inspire, let alone command.

The films webpage put this historic visit in perspective.

The Polish trade union movement languished for years prior to June of 1979, attracting only modest popular support. Sixteen months after John Paul IIs nine day visit to Poland, and the 1980 Gdansk shipyard strike, the Solidarity movement became the first officially recognized free trade union in the Communist bloc, with over 10 million members.

What transpired during these nine days that so moved a nation to begin to free itself of its Communist shackles? Why did millions of Poles, almost one third of the entire nation, come to see the Pope during his public appearances? What was the nature of the Communist system in Poland that made John Paul IIs visit a liberating moment?

Nine Days that Changed the World is a story of human liberation. It reveals how Pope John Paul IIs historic visit helped the Poles not only find their courage, but also reclaim their culture. This film presents the Popes message -- that after the lies of Nazism and Communism, authentic human freedom is only possible through a true understanding of our humanity.

While the trip was televised, authorities did not allow media to film the event. The Church, however, had planned ahead and purchased cameras they distributed to the people. Much of this archival footage was used in this new documentary.

We got some terrific footage from the bishops, he said. One of the most powerful scenes in the film shows a huge number of Polish crosses.

The former Speaker of the House likened the conditions in 1979 Poland, where the cross was being systematically eliminated by the government, to the contemporary attempts by the ACLU to remove this most important Christian symbol from public view, such as the one in the Mojave Desert.

The very existence of the cross creates a problem. Groups who want it removed are threatened by the very existence of God.

When asked what the producers hope a viewer will take away from Nine Days, Gingrich responded, History introduces us to concepts we can relate to today. We want people to apply the insights of the film to themselves.

The film, scheduled for release in January, will be available in multi-lingual versions, including English and Polish.

-----

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More U.S.

Guest Commentary by Ken Blackwell: Houston's Mayor is Endangering Civil Rights

Image of Ken Blackwell

By Ken Blackwell

In Houston, Texas, we have seen a bizarre twist on traditional Civil Rights play out. The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has been waging an uncivil war on people who oppose the far-reaching homosexual rights ordinance she powered through the City Council. That ... continue reading


United States developing quick-strike team to deal with Ebola Watch

Image of The U.S. Ebola strike team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to the crisis in Dallas, the United States is developing a 30-person "quick-strike team" in order to attend to the needs of Ebola patients within the U.S. The team will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month. The ... continue reading


After 21 days, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan are Ebola free Watch

Image of Thomas Eric Duncan's family, including his fiancee and her son and nephews, are nearing the end of their 21 day quarantine. So far, none of the four have developed Ebola like symptoms.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The fiancee of Thomas Eric Duncan-the first man diagnosed with Ebola in the United States-is nearing the end of a 21 day quarantine, and she and her son and two nephews are grateful that this period is coming to an end. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - If ... continue reading


Supreme Court backs Texas' war on voter fraud Watch

Image of The U.S. Supreme Court has backed a 2013 Texas law that requires voters to show ID before they submit a vote.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Supreme Court has given Texas the go ahead for a law that requires voters in the state to show certain forms of identification before they are able to cast a ballot. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The October 18 decision came from a majority of ... continue reading


Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas on the Synod on the Family: Duc in Altum

Image of Lorenzo Lotto's depiction of the Holy Family's rest on the flight into Egypt.

By Father Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Christians today in most parts of the world find themselves in a world much like the one inhabited by the first Christians - rampant sexual license, abortion, contraception, family break-down.  Those early Christians took a counter-cultural stance, echoing ... continue reading


(Video) Nina Pham's incredible goodbye will bring you to tears Watch

Image of Supporters of Nina Pham, the nurse who was infected with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has released a video which shows the goodbye between Ebola-patient Nina Pham and her doctor, as she leaves Dallas for treatment in Maryland. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 26-year-old nurse was infected with Ebola after ... continue reading


(Video) South Carolina's shocking SHARKNADO! Watch

Image of A rare shark feeding frenzy was caught on video in North Carolina, as hundreds of sharks attacked a school of Blue Fish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An amazing video has appeared on YouTube which shows 100 of sharks engaged in a feeding frenzy just feet from the shore in Cape Lookout, North Carolina. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bizarre video was taken on October 9, but was not made public until ... continue reading


Fed takes in record of over $3 trillion in taxes Watch

Image of A Treasury Department report has revealed that the U.S. government has taken in a record amount of tax revenue for the 2014 fiscal year, at over $3 trillion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest Monthly Treasury Statement has showed that inflation-adjusted federal tax revenues and tax revenues have reached their highest point even as of the 2014 fiscal year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The inflation-adjusted tax revenue reached ... continue reading


James Robison: Turn In Your Sermons! Watch

Image of James and Betty Robison

By James Robison

The city of Houston has issued a wake up call to all freedom-loving Americans by ordering pastors to turn in their sermons and staff communications dealing with homosexuality, gender identity, and Mayor Annise Parker. You must hear the real message loud and clear ... continue reading


He doesn't even care anymore. Government draws in $3 trillion after numerous tax hikes Watch

Image of The U.S. government took in over $3 trillion dollars in taxes for fiscal year 2014.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. government has collected a record amount of taxes for the 2014 fiscal year, topping $3 trillion in revenue for the first time in history, numbers from the Treasury Department revealed. The data also showed that this influx of cash has brought the current ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter