Pondering over the dam
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
I was able to be near the place where the body of priest Jerzy Popiełuszko was found, at the dam near Włocławek; terrible rough water, the vast space of the river. Murderers from the security office threw priest Jerzy into this deep water. We do not know if he was still alive or his dead body was thrown into the Vistula. But we know the course of further events. The extraction of the body of the murdered priest, a strange legal process and response to it, an unusual funeral of this martyr in the church of Stanisław Kostka in Żoliborz in Warsaw and thousands of people who arrived and still arrive to the grave of Blessed priest Jerzy and who worship him and who pray to God through his intercession. At the grave of priest Jerzy, there was also Blessed John Paul II. We must recall the person and words of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko because human memory is sometimes quite short and this priest is a symbol of many priests demanding the human rights and who were prosecuted by the communist regime and many of them died in ‘unexplained’ circumstances ‘from the hands of unknown executioners’. It was a great suffering of the Church in Poland which was going through a try in the sphere of faith after World War II. Raging communism absorbed many Polish brothers into its ranks. And what was the communist system? It was fighting atheism which used many methods, in order to oppress believers, bully priests, and to destroy their work and good name. Not only books or Catholic magazines were not printed but no information about the Church or priests was given – only if a priest was involved in some dishonesty and also facts were often made up. I also remember when on TV, the so-called Gomułka was shaking his fist at Cardinal Wyszyński. It was a massive hatred against God, the Church and priests. Today this campaign seems to be coming back to life again. The Church is attacked mercilessly, television interviews, full of fierceness, are organized and every failure is watched. Moreover, in the Catholic country where over 90% of people were baptised, the cross placed in the Chamber of the Seym started to be a burden, religious education at school is questioned, the agreement regulating the relations between the State and the Church is impaired – concordat and one wants to remove the Church into the non-existence at any rate. We must not impose atheist visions on the society because this all offends us. Religion at school and the cross are the property of Poles. We must not destroy Polish culture and national tradition marked with the cross and the Gospel. A large percent of Polish children goes to religion classes – there is a higher percent of children who participate in the catechesis than people who took part in the election – and this is the best evidence for the acceptance of religion at school. And nobody forces those children into it. And suddenly somebody brought up in this society wants to turn over everything in our life, wants to change the Polish order, tradition and life style. What does he offer instead? Marihuana? Luckily, we live in a free country now as free people. And we cannot allow for separating us from God, destroying our priest and catechist. Because the contemporary atheism wants to flood our Church again and postpone our faith – similarly as it happened in the times of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko. Atheists, freemasons or large business, understood variously, cannot govern our souls. In the real difficulty of each day, we need normality and peace, and also a good social atmosphere in order to educate young people well and remind them what is important in life.