Religion teaching, a bioethical document and an appeal for granting concession to the Television Trwam – are only a few issues which were discussed by bishops during the 361st Plenary Meeting of the Polish Episcopal Conference

Bishops had a lot to discuss because there are more and more problems which are urgent and still unsolved on the line – the state – the Church. The issue which is still raising most social emotions is the lack of concession for digital ground broadcasting for the television station connected with the Redemptorists in Toruń. ‘Polish bishops (…) are supporting the request of the Foundation ‘Lux Veritatis’ again (…), for granting the Television Trwam a place on the digital multiplex. It is awaited by millions of citizens in our homeland in the name of freedom of speech in media transmission’ – wrote bishops in a statement whose main addressee are members of the National Broadcasting Council.

During discussions, the delegate of the National Broadcasting Council for the Television Trwam archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódź presented bishops information concerning the second competition about a place on the multiplex. – However, there was no need for me to share my anxieties about the future. All bishops know the situation of the Television Trwam very well – says archbishop Głódź.

The Episcopate hopes that the second concession competition will not raise such big controversies and will end successfully. – Bishops are giving another and very clear signal that they are supporting the request for concession for the Television TRwam. We think that the voice of the whole Episcopate about the competition, especially for the station of religious character, should be noticed – says archbishop Józef Michalik, the president of the National Broadcasting Council.

A bioethical document

Another issue, discussed during the plenary meeting of the National Broadcasting Council was the issue of editing a bioethical document in which bishops point out to a way for politicians making legislation in Poland. A document of about 10 pages consists of 4 chapters and concerns mainly the problems of genetic bioethics, that is, the beginnings of human life and the prenatal phase. – The document considering new challenges in this sphere, especially the issue of in vitro fertilization and the problem of eugenics, which is connected with in vitro and also with the prenatal diagnostics – explains archbishop Henryk Hozer, the president of the Experts Team of the National Broadcasting Council for Bioethical issues.

Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki noted the arguments which are used by politicians supporting in vitro. They often say that this method has been used in Poland for 25 years and therefore it should be accepted by law. – Invaders used to say so when they were to convince Poles of accepting the authority at that time – says the vice-president of the National Broadcasting Council. – It is similar with killing. If somebody kills for 25 years, it does not mean that we are to accept this killing.

Leftist tendencies

Archbishop Gądecki also emphasized very firmly that babies born via the in vitro method have the same rights as other babies conceived naturally. These children should be loved, happy and bring joy to their parents. However, this fact does not mean that the Church will accept the method of artificial pro-creation. – Therefore the bioethical document will be mainly addressed to believers because experiences with parliamentarians show that are appeals are ineffective. We see that Polish and European legislation is taking on a leftist direction more and more. It is fear to think what our country will look like in 20 years - notes archbishop Gądecki.- So, the document will be an appeal to believers’ consciousness so that they would get prepared for difficult times.

We had a chance to get to know the announcement of the future problems, on the occasion of attacks on Fr. Prof. Franciszek Longchamps de Berier who had reminded only about the teaching of the Church and he had referred to the scientific medical studies. – We must be aware that we live in the times when the minority is trying to possess the consciousness of the majority. This minority is very strong and noisy, because it has most media on its side – says archbishop Gądecki.

The bioethical document will be published only after the Easter because bishops do not want the discussion on difficult issues to be overshadowed by the most important event in the Church which is the election of a new pope. – It is not a good time for this kind of talks – emphasized archbishop Michalik.

Care about catechesis

During plenary discussions bishops also got engaged in a regulation of the Ministry of National Education, which raises anxiety about the future of religion teaching. Moving catechesis from the framework plan to teaching programs at schools is worrying for the Church, but it also outraged local governments and catechists. – In this gesture we feel intentions of the Ministry which may lead to a transfer of financing catechesis onto units of a territorial local government – emphasizes the metropolitan of Poznań.

Because of exclusion of catechesis from the framework plan, it will be treated as a non-compulsory subject. Religious education may become a subject from which within savings, it will be possible to resign from or reduce a number of lesson hours.

The Ministry of National Education maintains its decision with arguments that nothing will change in the matter of religious education. – So, why was the change of the regulation? After all, nobody introduces reforms in order not to change anything – warns archbishop Gądecki.


"Niedziela" 11/2013

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