Benedictine College Professor Presents at International Catholic Conference in Poland

Benedictine College Professor Presents at International Catholic Conference in Poland

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dr. Edward Macierowski, a professor in both the Benedictine College Department of Philosophy and Department of Modern Foreign and Classical Languages, was invited to deliver a paper at the VII International Congress - Catholics and Truth: Opportunities and Threats. The international gathering took place November 28-29 at the College of Social and Media Culture inToruń, Poland. 

Macierowski’s presentation was on "Truth in Democracies: A Case Study on Population Policy." The paper consists of three parts: a rhetorical analysis of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, a brief study of and some startling quotes from the declassified National Security Study Memorandum 200 (1974) governing U.S. foreign and domestic governmental policy on population control, and a look at some recent Papal documents, chiefly Caritas in veritate, that offer a more constructive approach.

“I show that the doctrine of Pope Paul VI in Humanae Vitae is closer to that of Lincoln than it is to the policy outlined in NSSM 200, which marks a major departure from the position that all men are created equal,” Macierowski said. “I also attempt to analyze the implications of NSSM 200 for political and personal liberty.”

The Polish institution has been holding these international conferences for seven years and they are always well attended. According to Macierowski, there were speakers from every continent except Antarctica.  He had personally met and had conversations with several philosophers, a Taiwanese professor of media, a physician from Cairo working on bioethics for the Pontifical Institute of the Family, an Australian theologian, and a priest from India. Mounir Farag from Egypt, Colin Patterson from Australia, and Rev. George Karuvelil, SJ from India joined Dr. Macierowski on his panel.

Link to the text of the paper, complete with Polish translations:

Link to the Polish Television coverage of panelists at the conference:

Link to the Panel Discussion at the Conference:

In addition to presenting at the conference, Macierowski took advantage of his time in Poland to learn more about the Catholic history of the area as well as some of the tragic history of the Holocaust. He attended Mass sung in Polish and then toured Warsaw. He saw the meticulously reconstructed Old Town, the Royal Castle, the huge Łazienki Park, including  the "Villa Nova" Palace, the Warsaw Uprising Museum--including a dramatic 6-minute computer reconstruction of an aerial reconnaissance flight over Warsaw after the Germans had flattened the city of 1.3 million people to rubble, leaving only a few thousand survivors.

Macierowski then went on to Kraków, the historical capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom. There he saw the Royal Castle at Wawel containing a cathedral at which he was able to attend another Polish Mass. The next day he visited the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy with the famous painting made for the Polish mystic Sister Faustyna Kowalska and its spectacular basilica.

On the way back north to Toruń, he was guided through Auschwitz, the first of the three main death camps created by the German occupiers. The name is now synonymous with the industrialization of death and millions of Poles, Jews, Russians, and others were slaughtered, leaving nothing unused: women, children, and others deemed unfit for heavy manual labor were separated off for immediate stripping, gassing, hair removal (for upholstery), removal of gold teeth, and cremation. He also visited the punishment cell where Franciscan Father Maximilian Kolbe, often called the Saint of Auschwitz, was eventually killed when he failed to die on “schedule” from starvation. He had volunteered to die in the infamous Nazi death camp in place of a stranger.

Dr. Macierowski came to Benedictine College in 1993 after teaching in and chairing the Department of Philosophy at Christendom College. He has also taught at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston and at the Catholic University of America. In addition to his graduate work, he studied at the then-Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was graduated from its Classical High School. He is married and has five adoptive children.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.