Zygmunt Zieliński in his study called "The myth of a Catholic Pole" in the book Polish political myths of the 19th and 20th centuries observes:
(…) the criterion for distinguishing the nationality was not Polishness but Catholicism. This was to emphasize certain historical interrelations: to be a Pole meant to be a Catholic. The limes on whose eastern side were the orthodox Ruthenian tribes and on the western the Catholics under the Polish rule is seen as considerably responsible for the rise of the myth. (…) The stereotype of a Catholic Pole was strengthened when the neighbouring empires intervened for the sake of the dissidents living within the Polish borders. Even the Polish Enlightenment (…) was not able to undermine the conviction that Polishness and Catholicism were inseparable. The post-partition period encouraged to manipulate with the now politically informed concept of a Catholic Pole. It was variously used, often for opposite purposes, different for the occupants but heterogeneous also among the politically divided Poles. The stereotype of a Catholic Pole was growing independently in each section of the partitioned Poland depending on the attitude of the oppressor to the dominant faith (…) The stereotype was transposed after World War II, in the communist period. Catholic values were recognized as the main power capable of helping the nation to preserve its identity. Instead of an emotionally conceived Catholicism, there appeared the need of a definite worldview, whose chosen reference to the Polish historical tradition pointed to Catholicism as the proper option (…) the stereotype of a Catholic Pole after World War II was reduced to a series of symbols providing a simplified but efficient weapon against the communist ideology by setting it against the originally Polish and Catholic. (…) The myth of a Catholic Pole belongs to the imponderables, but becomes an element of reality disregarding its historical truth as well as present day reality (…)
Given that Catholicism has been helping the nation to distinguish itself from its neighbours since the Christianization of Poland, are there any other countries where Catholicism played a similar role?
Background of my question:
According to rainbow-europe Poland has the lowest percentage of achieved LGBTI human rights. Countries like Malta, Lithuania, Portugal, Croatia, Ireland have similar percentage of Roman Catholics (according to "Discrimination in the EU in 2015", Special Eurobarometer) and they have much or slightly higher percentage of achieved LGBTI human rights (89%, 23%, 66%, 46% and 52% accordingly), so it probably means that the instance of Poland is different; hence, I ask the question about the history of Catholicism in other countries.