European Culture Needs Religious Roots, Says Polish Director

Lack of Reference Leads to Confusion, Krzysztof Zanussi Stresses

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

ROME, JUNE 10, 2002 ( Europe cannot continue to be conceived as an entity uprooted from its culture and tradition, Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi says.

«The European unity generally referred to is only Western,» said Zanussi, who will receive the Rimini International Award for Catholic Culture on Aug. 19. The expression «Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals» embraces much more, he added.

«The two lungs that the Pope speaks about are both the Latin and Byzantine cultures,» Zanussi observed during an interview with Italy´s Religious Information Service (

Poland itself is now experiencing «great disappointment in seeing that the most advanced area of Europe is also the most morally deteriorated. I am not speaking of euthanasia, pornography or drugs. I am thinking of political corruption in Western Europe,» he added.

Zanussi believes it is a situation that is reflected in education. «In Western schools in recent years, perhaps because of the influence of Marxism, there is much talk about economic relations and very little about mentality as an element that contributes to ways of behavior in life,» he said.

«In defining culture it is worthwhile to return to the religious roots, although today culture can be defined as secular,» Zanussi said. «It is the absence of such a reference that causes confusion.»

Lastly, the film director, who is a personal friend of Karol Wojtyla, mentioned the principal features of European culture: openness and ability to correct its own errors.

«John Paul II demonstrated this: The Church asked for forgiveness. However, if forgiveness is to exist, there must be repentance, and it is not frequent,» Zanussi concluded.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation