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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Why I Said No to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Deadly Watch

Image of I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly unwilling to support a noble cause such as the eradication of a debilitating disease. However, it is vital that we stand for for the fundamental and foundational moral truth which underlies every effort to end disease, the dignity of every human person, including embryonic human persons.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I was approached to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to help bring an end to ALS. I said No. I have tried to explain why I said No in this article. I hope it is a helpful contribution in our public discussion. As a Christian, it is never easy to be seen as seemingly ... continue reading


Toward a Christian Vision of Human Work On Labor Day Watch

Image of Christians need to bear witness in the real world to the true value, purpose, meaning and dignity of all human work - just as we bear witness to the inherent value and dignity of every human worker. This is a vital part of our witness to an age which has lost its way.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Adam and Eve worked in the garden and it brought them great joy. For the Christian, work is meant to become a participation in the continuing redemptive mission of Jesus, and His ongoing work. Jesus viewed his entire life and mission as work. He was always doing ... continue reading


American Islamic terrorist Fort Hood shooter requests to join Islamic State as a 'citizen' Watch

Image of Nadal Hasan, the man who killed 13 people during a rampage at Fort Hood in 2009, has written a letter to the Islamic State asking to join the terrorist organization as a citizen.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. Army psychiatrist, Nadal Hasan, who killed 13 people at Fort Hood back in November 2009 has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, asking to become a citizen of the Islamic State's caliphate, an attorney of Husan reported on August 28. LOS ... continue reading


St Augustine on a Personal Relationship with Jesus Watch

Image of St Augustine

By Deacon Keith Fournier

But we too can encounter Christ in reading Sacred Scripture, in prayer, in the liturgical life of the Church. We can touch Christ's Heart and feel him touching ours. Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we ... continue reading


SHAKEN WINE: Strong earthquake jolts California's wine region Watch

Image of The weekend's temblor was felt widely throughout the region, from more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rumbled through the early Sunday morning hours in the heart of California's wine country. The epicenter was near the city of Napa in the Golden State's north. Fires erupted in a mobile home park where four homes were destroyed and two ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil: Living Simplicity Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right? Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict was absolutely correct when he said, - the profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. - Gender is a gift. It is also a given. The dangers of the Gender Identity Movement are becoming increasingly clear.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In a culture where freedom has been redefined as a right to choose anything and liberty has degenerated into license, the newspeak of the age has declared the instrumental use of the body of another to be sexual freedom. It is not freedom. It turns people into ... continue reading


WORST YET TO COME? Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen,' Pentagon says Watch

Image of IS is

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online has been keeping very close watch on the atrocities being committed by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, and according to a top government official - the worst is yet to come. According to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the sophistication, ... continue reading


Lawsuit dropped against devil worshiper in Oklahoma Watch

Image of Lawyers representing Archbishop Paul Coakley had earlier demanded the return of a communion wafer obtained by the group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The leader of a satanic group in Oklahoma City had threatened that he and his followers would defile a consecrated communion wafer as an offering to Satan as a carnal sacrifice at a "Black Mass" ceremony inside Oklahoma City's Civic Center Music Hall. The ... continue reading


Should Americans have job preference over unskilled-illegal immigrants? President Obama doesn't think so Watch

Image of New polls are showing that Americans are tired of illegal immigrants getting benefits at the expense of citizens and legal immigrants.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to the Associated Press: "one of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted," which would "essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... 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, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... 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