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.

BREAKING NEWS - School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


Rest in Peace, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete: Communion and Liberation Priest Enters Eternal Encounter Watch

Image of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete was a leader in the ecclesial movement called Communion and Liberation. He was also a gifted writer, known for his naturally supernatural holiness of life. Those whom he touched are a living testimony to a life - and a priesthood - which was well lived. In encountering him, they encountered Jesus Christ. That experience is the very heart of the Gospel, the meaning of the Christian claim. It is the key to understanding the Church. It is the spirituality of Communion and Liberation.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

As we pause to honor Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Communion and Liberation Priest, may our prayers accompany him, lighting his passage into the eternal encounter with the Lord whom he loves. Let us also ask for his prayers - and follow his example. Let us decide to ... continue reading


How far will it spread? A New York doctor has tested positive for Ebola Watch

Image of 33-year-old Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders, had recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Guinea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New York doctor who had recently returned from Guinea has tested positive for Ebola, the fourth person diagnosed with the disease in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Craig Spencer worked for Doctors Without Borders where he was treating ... continue reading


Same-sex couples line up to be wed in Wyoming Watch

Image of After the state formally dropped its defense of a law defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, Jennifer Mumaugh says that attitudes across the state have shifted in recent years to be more open to gay couples.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Same-sex couples began lining up around the block in Wyoming for marriage licenses this week. U.S. District Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, appointed by President Barack Obama struck down the state's gay marriage ban last week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Will they riot after this? Autopsy, analysis shows officer Wilson was telling the truth Watch

Image of New analysis and witness reports suggest that officer Darren Wilson was being attacked by Michael Brown and shot him in self defense.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New evidence from Ferguson Missouri seems to vindicate the testimony of officer Darren Wilson, showing that the fatal shooting of Michael Brown may not be as cut and dry as many of the protestors in the area believe. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Is this a sign of things to come? 2014 midterm most expensive on record Watch

Image of Early voting has already started in several states including Kansas and Illinois.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Well underway, the 2014 midterms are set to be the most expensive midterms ever, according to projections that the Center for Responsive Politics released on October 22. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While heavily overshadowed by global affairs like the ... continue reading


ACTIVE SHOOTER - Kids, teachers, community terrorized by admin, police at Thompson Jr. HS in Bakersfield in the name of safety? Watch

Image of Terrorization in the name of safety is still terror.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The latest school shooting did not make the national news yesterday because allegedly it was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated against kids and a working-class community in the name of safety. For about 30 minutes on Tuesday, students, faculty, and their parents ... continue reading


Catholic school forbids Hollywood lesbian drama from shooting on location Watch

Image of In the scene to be filmed at the school, Moore's character, a New Jersey police detective with terminal cancer, applies for a domestic partnership with her partner, played by Page in order to pass on her pension legally after her death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While actresses Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are big names in filmland, their largesse didn't get them past the authorities at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, New York. The catholic school has declined their request to use their location for a ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. John Paul II, His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Requires a Response Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... 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 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2014 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in ... 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