but you are making a awful lot of sweeping generalizations
Of course, I am generalizing, but on a much greater basis than merely the few Polish young people I know. The rise and fall of the Catholic church has long been an interest of mine, and I am well read in the field, including events in Poland.
Your personal experiences in one region of Poland do not mean it is universal across the whole country.
While rural and eastern areas may lag some years behind the richer western Polish urban centers in this respect, there are no regions in Poland that are not experiencing a major loss of religiosity among young people.
In any case, to claim that Catholicism did not influence Polish art, customs, or history is just plain false.
I never claimed anything of the sort. I claimed that that influence has declined substantially in recent years, especially among young people, who no longer interpret cultural events in terms of the Catholic faith. For example, patently and overtly religious artworks such as Mozart's requiem are approached as secular works of art, and events in Polish history are extremely likely to be interpreted as expressions of the "Christ of Nations" mythology. Few young people look to the church to help them determine the significance of events in their lives or public events in general. Contrast that with the moherowy berety generation, who interpret practically every event from sour milk to cancer in terms of a Catholic cosmology, especially divine retribution.
The "young people" you are referring to, have parents, and parents and local community usually pass on most elements of culture (e.g.. customs to mark life stages such as entering the world, maturity, marriage, and death -- these often include religion).
The transmission of religious beliefs and practices has also markedly decreased.
In addition, you cannot claim that people at one stage of their life necessarily maintain the same worldview.
True, but there is no evidence that today's young people will return to religious practice as they get older. Quite the opposite. Evidence from more advanced countries indicates that religiosity will continue to decrease during the lifespan of those currently under thirty years old.
I also sense an underlying hostility in your comments
While I have little sympathy for the Catholic church, I do bemoan the loss of the cultural knowledge base that makes interpretation of older works of art possible. "Biblical literacy" (in the cultural, not religious, sense) is shockingly low among younger people. Fewer and fewer of them are familiar with themes such as Joseph and his coat of many colors, Jonah and the whale, or even references to things like thirty pieces of silver or the cock crowing thrice. For example, I watched the Russian film "The Return" with a group of college students. The film is jam packed with references to events and symbols in the Bible, and they are not subtly presented. Quite the opposite. Most escaped the attention of the students, though, including a whole sequence of events that was essentially a retelling of Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. I found it funny that they said they "appreciated" the film even though practically all of it sailed way over their heads.
I don't think we disagree, unless you are somehow maintaining that the situation in Poland is unique and essentially different from that of the Western countries that preceded it in the process of dechristianization. I see the same series of events occurring that occurred decades earlier in the West. Or rather, a variation of a well-known them with results that are largely predictable and unsurprising. I'm also guessing that you underestimate the vast inter-generational divide regarding matters of religiosity. It's much more stark than in the US, for example.
both of you speak Polish fluently? Can you read in Polish? I take it both of you are in Poland.
Yes, I speak Polish fluently, and have read more books in Polish than most educated Poles. I lived in Poland for twelve years.
if you do, then you are probably not as exposed to a wide range of people or "how Catholic" they really are).
Also, I was an avid reader of the Polish religious press for years: everything from Tygodnik Powszechny to Nasz Dziennik.