Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Religion in Poland.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Poland was, until 1939, probably the most solidly Catholic country in the world, or shared that distinction (and material and cultural poverty) with Eire. The geographical position of each, off the track of the international currents of modern life, largely explains their common features. Under the Jagellans (1386-1572) it had been a great Power, but it then decided to have an elective monarchy, and it unhappily elected Henry of Valois, the morbid son of the morbid Catherine de Medici. He soon returned to France, to become the half-insane Henri III, but, in the rather exaggerated phrase of Michelet, he "took with him the crown diamonds and left behind him the Jesuits." The Jesuits did not, in fact, arrive until the next reign, but they completed the ruin of Poland by dragging it into the Thirty Years War. It was now isolated between Protestant Prussia and schismatical Russia, and was repeatedly "partitioned" between them, Catholic Austria taking its share. The illiterate and densely ignorant people were, like the Irish, hardened in their superstition and incapable of seeing the evil that it had wrought, and the heroic fight they made against Russia in the nineteenth century only strengthened their weird religious pride. The recent history of Poland and its Church has been completely falsified in the public mind. At Versailles, to which Paderewski was sent to conciliate the Allied statesmen, a monstrous amount of non-Polish territory was incorporated in the new Republic; and after the Conference the Poles were permitted to make further annexations, especially as they joined enthusiastically in the White War against Russia. The 10,000,000 inhabitants of the eastern provinces that had been torn from Russia were Ukrainians and White Russians, mostly of the Greek or Orthodox Church, and immediately after the establishment of the Republic the Poles entered upon a savage persecution of these. It lasted twenty years, and Catholic prelates were active and the Vatican fully acquiescent in it. During the most brutal period of this persecution the British Press repeated almost daily the charge that Russia persecuted religion and retailed the wildest Catholic untruths, but only two papers in England, the Manchester Guardian and the New Statesman, published the fact that Poland was chronically engaged in a barbaric persecution of the Orthodox Catholics and German Protestants. The facts and the full evidence will be found in McCabe's Papacy in Modern Politics (1937, 115-24). It is these heavily persecuted and entirely non-Polish provinces which Russia took over in 1939.


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