Thinking: Poland

Fr Ireneusz Skubis

Everything started in Krakowskie Przedmieście in Warsaw in 2011. As we remember, scouts who paid the tribute to victims of the catastrophe in Smoleńsk, put a cross near the President’s Palace. And then, at a certain time this cross became a nuisance. The President’s Palace decided to remove the cross and place it in St. Anna’s Church – this was to be a proper place for the cross. It was also agreed with the Church authorities. But people thought differently. Both scouts and the faithful were aware of the fact that the cross had been left near the President Palace so that the government would assume a proper attitude towards the catastrophe in Smoleńsk. It was all about not only the explanation of the catastrophe but also worthy commemoration of tragically deceased president Lech Kaczyński. However, neither the new president nor Warsaw authorities agreed on it. In the situation of the quarrels which appeared at that time, a terrible thing happened in Krakowskie Przedmieście: the cross was profaned and those who were praying at it, suffered harm, were an object of ridicule and were even beaten. Under the eyes of Poland there was a quick and clearly unjust media evaluation of people remaining at the cross. The people were treated as ‘madmen’, ‘fanatics’, and robbers. That atmosphere lasted quite long. And it is not a secret to anyone either, that to many people in senior positions or applying for them, the cross did not have any respect although it is a very important sign of Christianity, a memento of the saving Passion of Christ, God’s Son and a holy guidepost for every Christian. There are some people who humiliate, ignore or only tolerate the cross and religion. That’s their way of looking at the Church. Today it is also connected among the others with the frontal attack on the Church and religion done by the left –wing party before the Parliamentary elections. We are the witnesses of the poverty in the Polish society: there is no money, there is no work, there is no money to pay for rent, or send children to school; we are also at the very end among the EU countries as far as social security for people is concerned. Taking an advantage of it, the left-wing party shows, who is to be blamed for this poverty: priests and catechists, who get money for Religion Education; Religion Education could be removed from schools at all – thanks to which there would be sandwiches for hungry children. Like a politician, man who must also have an economic vision, images a nation, its culture, economy and agriculture without ethics or without referring to greater values than mammon…
Polish society is very credulous, as far as succumbing anti-clericalism is concerned. Politicians often build their electoral program just on it. Those candidates to the Parliament and Senate who base on fighting with a priest or the Church are the best in surveys. This is indeed the easiest. Therefore we have to pay attention to what happens in our media, people who proclaim mottos directed against the Church and who are given much time on TV or radio for that. It is sad that we, the Catholics and Catholic organizations do not react to that, we do not demand that a future senator or a member of Parliament should speak about specific matters what he can do, what economic plan he has goy; instead he uses the cheapest method of gaining votes in a primitive way. There are various methods of fighting with the Church and there is always the so-called good time to attack it. But a nation without any spirituality or Christian reference will be dead, stupid and vulnerable to manipulations, if that’s the point. But I do not wish anyone the situation desired by the left-wing party when Poles would not have any priests. The history shows us recent examples of this, when after imprisonment or murdering of priests people were left alone in vast spaces of life. And I am not saying about the Church here but about humanism, the so-called humanity in people.


"Niedziela" 40/2011

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: