READ THE CATHOLIC PRESS VERY CAREFULLY
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The issue of finances of the Church has appeared in the forums of media again. The Church is accused of vast wealth and greediness. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who believe in these fairy tales especially that the stories are supported by the journalists of highly-circulated newspapers or by television and radio stations and they are reaching to a very wide number of the society. Such an opinion about the Church is advantageous for the leftist orientation, not saying about the movement of Palikot, who is building his political position on his hatred to the Church and clergy.
An interesting phenomenon is what was shown in the statement of the National Broadcasting Council that Father Tadeusz Rydzyk is not able to provide finances which are necessary for the Television ‘Trwam’ to exist on the digital multiplex. So, on the one hand people shout about a vast wealth of Father Rydzyk which makes him a kind of a great press or media magnate – as there were stories about his plane or Maybach car, and now it is stated that the Television ‘Trwam’ was not granted the concession because it was not financially efficient. There is something unclear here, and it is seen that this kind of ‘information’ is simply supposed to cause an intended result. However, the worst thing is that so many people believe in this nonsense, that a man who seems to be sensible, wise and intelligent, repeats these lies which he heard on TV and is not aware that he contributes to the falsehood and hypocrisy.
The statements of the representatives of the state authorities are also weird which allow for drawing a conclusion that the Church devours vast amounts of state money. Certainly, it is not the truth and the money which is used by the Church, results from legal contracts between the state and the Catholic Church in Poland and concerns only basic matters. The report of the Catholic Information Agency ‘Finances of the Catholic Church in Poland’ says clearly that the Church is maintained by the gifts from the faithful in 80%. So, the matters are obvious, but when it concerns emotions, we know that it is easy to raise them with money and they are growing, sometimes in a revolutionary way. But why are the representatives holding the authority behaving so...
We, Catholics, must be vigilant and know that as a big community, living in a particular country, have our rights. First of all, we must demand the truth and honesty in creating our opinion about us because it is important for all our citizens. We must also state that we are the Church treated in the worst way in Europe because the money from the Sunday tray or for the pastoral ministry are not taxed anywhere in Europe, but they are taxed in Poland. It is not true that – as Janusz Palikot stated – priests do not pay taxes. They pay taxes and for every resident on the area of a particular parish, even if he would be an atheist. The truth is completely different than this one given for political or ideological usage.
So, the Church in Poland is in a quite difficult situation because although it meets with friendliness from some political groups which state that they are very attached to the Church and although people generally use the help of the Church and although the help was used especially when we were freeing ourselves from communism – the Church must face the slanders and libels on its own, and mainly bad emotions which accompany the Church. Now the situation concerns the finances of the Church. It is a delicate issue because we know how much poverty is around, whereas the matter looks completely different. So, the Church in Poland is hurt twice: one way is – still not fulfilled harm from the communist times, when much property was taken from the Church and it has not been returned till today, there are also financial harm and injustice which were mentioned above, and the second way is – a moral harm for which nobody takes any responsibility.
Dear Priests, Dear Catholics! Let’s start thinking! Let’s see what the situation of the Church really looks like. However, we will not learn about it from official media, we must also listen to another party – the voice of Catholic media. Priests sometimes say that they will not distribute Catholic newspapers because it is not their duty to do so, but they forget that if people do not know the truth about the life of the Church, tomorrow they will vote for the movement of Palikot and they will not have anybody in the Church to serve to. So, let’s use the sources which are still available and let’s be together because the stake is really high: it is about a human being.