The Crusade for Human Liberation

‘Oppose everything that conflicts with human dignity and degrades the morals of a healthy society, that may sometimes threaten its very existence and the common good, that may diminish our contribution to the common heritage of humanity, of Christian nations, of the Church of Christ.’ (St John Paul II, October 1978).

In response to this appeal of St. John Paul II, Fr. Francis Blachnicki and the Life-Light Movement brought into being the Crusade for Human Liberation (the first name used was the Crusade for the Liberation of Man). The Crusade was proclaimed in the presence of the Holy Father; it was offered to him and blessed by him during his first pilgrimage to Poland on June 8, 1979, in Nowy Targ.

‘That is a real act of liberation: liberation from fear, pressure, opinions, and views of the other weak brothers and sisters by giving them a helping hand. Liberation from other addictions, from egoism that leads to the murder of unborn children. There comes along the liberation from fear: ‘Do not be afraid’, because only fear enslaves us. One that does not fear is free even in prison or concentration camp. That is the liberty of the children of God that cannot be taken away by anyone, only by ourselves, by our fear. Liberation by the truth: ‘The truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). It will set us free when we will have the courage to tell the truth, demand the truth, testify of the truth, and make the truth. That is the real Crusade for Human Liberation, that is a great task of our movement’ (Fr. Francis Blachnicki).

Why is this work called the ‘crusade’?

The Crusade for Human Liberation realizes its aim by creating a group of people who are ready to engage in a spiritual battle for the ‘holy land’, that is, each person saved by Christ. The word ‘crusade’ points to the cross as an effective sign of utter victory over evil of any kind. In order to enter the mystery of the cross, we have to overcome fear, that is why liberation from fear constitutes the main task of the Crusade.

The message of the Crusade is expressed in its emblem. The words ‘Do not be afraid,’ often used by Christ and evoked also by St John Paul II, have become the main motto (even the battle cry) of the Crusade. They remind us of the main task of the CHL members: to help others become free from fear.

The cross is the sign of the crusades and the sign of the most profound mystery of liberty. The letter ‘M’ symbolizes Mary Immaculate standing at the foot of the cross. She is the model of devotion to Jesus Christ and our union with him.

The letter ‘w’ on the other side of the cross means ‘we’ who follow the appeal of the Pope to join him in uniting with Mary (Totus Tuus) in devotion to Jesus Christ. That is why the Crusade is also called the work of Mary Immaculate, the Mother of the Church.

The CHL weapon

In the struggle for genuine freedom, the Crusade for Human Liberation follows the guidance of Jesus, who pointed to praying and fasting as the two powerful weapons to conquer evil. The Crusade members decide to fast in a special way, i.e., they do not drink any alcohol, and they also pray for those who need liberation from any kind of enslavement.

Abstinence from alcohol constitutes a personal gift, made voluntarily because of love and responsibility for another person.

By ‘abstinence’ the Crusade for Human Liberation means a complete and voluntary resignation from alcohol as a drink in any form and quantity. This definition does not concern the use of alcohol in other circumstances, such as medicine (if alcohol is an element of real medicine), or the liturgy. Generally, abstinence does not concern alcohol in food (e.g., cakes or sweets). As we can see, it is not about fighting against alcohol itself but against the habit of drinking alcohol and pressuring others to drink. In CHL, abstinence is seen as a means to restore sobriety in society and educate children and teenagers in good habits.

Only when the majority of the society live in freedom from fear, lies, and bad habits, a lasting effective change of lifestyle of the whole nation and Christian responsibility for family life and social engagement may become true.

As the promise of abstinence constitutes a declaration of joining CHL, which opposes the habit of drinking and alcohol abuse, it is reasonable only if it includes a resolution of not serving alcohol and not buying it. Otherwise, it would be an incomplete and inconsequent fight, carrying an element of defeat. That is why the CHL Declaration includes these two resolutions.

The Crusade undertakes also a struggle against other addictions, smoking included. However, abstinence from drugs, smoking, or other damaging habits is not supported by any declaration, because we agree that according to the actual knowledge, such a declaration is an obligation of common sense and a requirement resulting from the fifth commandment. That is why abstinence from e.g. smoking cannot be an object of a voluntary gift in a way similar to abstinence from alcohol.

How to join?

One can join the Crusade at any time. It is enough to fill in the declaration. However, it is good if one can declare their decision to join the CHL in a Christian community, and the privileged space for that is found during the Communion Days of the Light-Life Movement.

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