The Church and elections
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The presidential election is over and now we have many reflections and questions concerning it. We also look closer at some groups of the Polish society. We can see some Poles who did not vote and who as if did not care about it. They certainly include the people affected in flood hit areas. They have become discouraged by the election promises that are not being realised and moreover, they even have no documents. And some people were very active before the election. Perhaps the loudest group was the journalists – radio, television and press – who as if multiplied during that time and were everywhere. Unfortunately, many of them behaved undesirably. Sometimes it seemed that they were the trackers hunting animals. We do not know their motives. They might have counted on material gains... And the role of journalists is big and if they follow party line too much they do not work as journalists but they misuse their power. If journalists realise that the party they support behaves unfairly, that the party does not serve the good of the homeland, why do they accept it?
The presidential election is a matter of political option. One should answer the questions: What Poland do we want? What president do we need? What competences should he have? We still remember the presidency of late Lech Kaczynski. We remember how unfair the media treated him, how many beautiful pictures of the life of the presidential couple were never shown earlier. Therefore, we should have seen the present election as election after the plane crash at Smolensk and the national funeral, which showed Poles’ feelings. And I wish those images had not been blurred in Poles’ awareness during the presidential campaign. It was very meaningful and so was the behaviour of the government that failed to supervise the investigation of the crash. Poland deserves a more serious and stronger stand of the government towards that event. We have so many understatements, ambiguities and questions but the government seems to give up. The acting president signed dozens of bills very quickly. It is very painful that facing the mystery of this death, facing this tragedy which affected our nation, at which the whole world looked, we did not behave worthily. Basically, the investigation is in the Russian hands.
We kept hearing appeals not to remind people of the Smolensk tragedy and of the mourning of the late President and at the same time the suicide death of Barbara Blida was remembered. The presidential candidate went to her home to remind people of her. It can be clearly interpreted as propelling certain political situation. Today we ask Poles, ‘How do we behave towards those tragic events that occurred in Poland?’ It seems that during the election many people turned to the left-wing, which gave it some success. Some say that it was the biggest success of Grzegorz Napieralski who won 14% of the votes. However, the Polish society embraces millions of Christians, Catholics, who did not follow Napieralski. As a Christian society we must keep appealing for the truth and our rights. We must remind people what communism, which destroyed our country and led to economic ruin, was. We do not want to return to that past. Our non-submissive nation built its liberation from slavery, including the economic one, doomed to serve the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and forced to obey the Kremlin. Today the successors of those communists suggest breaking the concordat in order to destroy the life of the Church and millions of Poles who are Catholics. It strikes the Polish nation that is Catholic, people who live on the Gospel and go to church. Let us see: if most of those who had voted had not attended Mass earlier how many people would have participated in the election? It is a sign of the presence of the Catholic Poland in the social life.
It would be better if today the communists reformed neither the state nor the Church. This country lives rather peacefully, recovering somehow. It is an independent country and will participate in the live of world nations freely, not in the imposed communist way. Therefore, I think that even the new President Bronislaw Komorowski will not listen to Mr Napieralski too much.
Soon the Polish nation is going to elect its local government and a new Parliament. We have already won because the success of Law and Justice was big, which brought about a small difference in support for both presidential candidates. Thank God Jaroslaw Kaczynski will lead Law and Justice in the next elections and the nation will vote for whom people wish. Certainly, these will not be elections in the style of Zapatero or Napieralski, Kwasniewski or Oleksy. We must be only aware of where we are heading.
I congratulate the Polish priests who behaved worthily, who did not yield to the journalists’ provocations. They behave as free citizens of the free country, those who as shepherds have the right to talk about their convictions to their faithful, those who do not shut their mouth. Let us respect everyone’s place in our society and as Christians, let us respect first of all God’s place in our personal, family, social and public lives.