Who are you?
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
This question is very relevant and the answer is very important. Since it concerns the identity of each of us. In the Holy Scriptures Lord God always reminds us that we are people with definite names, definite identities. We have our own names; we have our own identities. Today we also speak about the genetic code and we can seek our own individual identity among one billion people in the world in the enlarged computer web. And it is known that such an identity exists and I am unique, there is not another I – we are marked by a definite identity. This is personal identity and family, clan identity as well as identity of our background. And then we have regional identity, the identity of our little homeland, the national identity. Today we often speak of the European identity. Some people prefer to speak: I am European than I am Polish. And we should see our religious identity. Therefore, the question, ‘Are you a Catholic or are you not a Catholic?’ is justifiable. The Catholic identity is based and built on the creed, on the words spoken during Holy Mass, ‘I believe in one God...’ (the Creed, the Apostolic Creed). The religious identity is often connected with the national identity – many a time you say Pole-Catholic. Since a representative of some nation should be aware of the culture his/her nation has created, which was the soul and inspiration. Today the elections to the European Parliament are over. We had to express our national, cultural and religious awareness in the elections. I think that for the good of the community its members should have definite awareness; should know what they want to reach, which way to go. On the one hand, we would like to preserve our European membership, this European spirit that is connected with rich and long culture, and on the other hand, we want to preserve our own national identity. Here there is an obvious dispute between environments representing different views. Some think that Europe should become a political unity, become a superpower; others think that it should be Europe of homelands, Europe of various nations in which the elements of national identity should be preserved – Polish people, living in Europe and supporting other European nations, should feel Polish. Naturally, the dispute will continue. Various options will have their advocates but one thing is certain: it is good to preserve one’s own identity because it is a fundamental matter. I must know what my name is and where I come from. If someone forgets where he comes from he can be lost in the ocean of various trends and tendencies and in some sense becomes defective. Therefore, it would be good to show concern so that our views of the reality would have deep roots, so that we are not some splinters of social, political or national reality but have solid background, which is our homeland – land and people who live here and who create specific culture. Obviously, what we read, what spiritual nourishment we have, what media are available in our family plays a significant role. One must mention the important role of Catholic press. I must say that sometimes I envy the Metropolitan of Katowice where one of the Catholic weeklies has been widely spread and reading this weekly has become a kind of Silesian tradition. I would like very much that ‘Niedziela’ had such a tradition, especially in its home diocese and also where it has been already rooted. I am glad that the dioceses we collaborate with, preparing the local diocesan inserts, are faithful to ‘Niedziela’ since it is so easy to destroy that, which, unfortunately, already took place. The important thing is to respect the tradition of common approach to certain reality, co-operation with priests and laity. Believers who read the editorial inserts of ‘Niedziela’ get to know their diocese better, have deeper awareness of the local Church and they are concerned about the matters of the local Church. Otherwise, all things fade; we break with our community, which is actually so close to us, and we choose inner immigration. Man must know who he is and all things related to his identity, what is in his inner part, is expressed in his actions then. Many a time we ask why Catholic press does not influence social life to a great extent. My answer is: because its readers are sill too few (for instance, one copy of ‘Niedziela’ is for 300 people). How are we to create Catholic public opinion, how to create Catholic lobby if Catholics do not read their press... I ask priests to notice that building Catholic identity has many aspects and should be also based on Catholic media. Let us build our identity, wonderful Catholic identity.