ONE ZLOTY FOR A HOSPITAL?
ARCHBISHOP MAREK JEDRASZEWSKI IN DEFENCE OF PROF. CHAZAN
The Holy Father John Paul II often claimed for people of conscience who are a real guarantee of the suitable development of our Homeland. On 22 May 1995 the Pope said in Skoczow: ‘Today Poland is calling for people of conscience! To be a man of conscience means, first of all, listen to the voice of one’s conscience in every situation and not stifle the voice of conscience in oneself, although it is sometimes difficult and demanding; it means to get engaged in the good and multiply it around ourselves, as well as not agree to the evil, according to the words of St. Paul: ‘Do not let the evil overcome you, but overcome the evil with the good!’ (The Romans 12.21). (…) The time of the trial of Polish consciences is still going on! You must be strong in faith! Today when you are struggling for the future form of the social and state life, remember that, first of all, it depends on what a man will be like – what his conscience will be like’.
The last weeks showed everyone in a dramatic way how much Poland needs people of righteous conscience and how much the pope’s call refers to those people who are holding the supreme offices in our country. The day of 3 July 2014 gave us another reason for a loud calling for people of righteous conscience. Here the Health Ministry accused prof. Bogdan Chazan, the director of Hospital of the Holy Family in Warsaw, of breaching law, and the National Health Fund imposed a fine of 70 thousand zlotys on the hospital because prof. Chazan had refused to kill a baby in the 24th week (6th month) of pregnancy, referring to the clause of conscience. In relation to the above-mentioned facts, I would like to note that:
1. Prof. Chazan referred to what results from the natural law and what the constitution guarantees to him. Whereas, if there are some provisions which are considered by the Health Ministry and the National Health Fund, allowing these constitutions for such proceeding towards prof. Chazan, it must be stated that they are not compatible with the constitution and should be changed.
2. The fine imposed on the Hospital of the Holy Family by the National Health Fund is an evident harm done to mothers who want to give birth to their children in this hospital because the amount of money assigned for health benefits for mothers and their children will be decreased by the amount of the fine. Injustice which the state showed to prof. Chazan is much higher due to the harm towards other innocent citizens of Poland. These proceedings of people in the government must arouse a definite protest form people of righteous conscience.
In the situation when the appeal to the decision of the National Health Fund, which is to be submitted by prof. Chazan, turned out to be ineffective, I will address my request to believers of the archdiocese of Lodz, so that they would like to donate one zloty for the Hospital of the Holy Family. I deeply believe that in the archdiocese there will be enough just people, who are ready to show their solidarity both with prof. Bogdan Chazan and with mothers who choose the hospital in order to give birth to their children.