YOU WILL NOT LOSE ANYTHING DUE TO RELIGION!
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Many discussions on the Church and religion have taken place in Poland recently. There appeared a proposition of liquidating full-time jobs in the military ordinariate, and there also appeared a project of transferring a duty of paying for religion lessons onto the self-governments. It was stated that religion and ethics are compulsory subjects, therefore, the self-governments, if they think it right, will pay catechists for teaching religion. However, there appears a problem because the recording of the concordat are different and the constitution guarantees the freedom of teaching religion. Besides, this problem concerns 96% of pupils of primary schools and over 80% of students of secondary schools. As a result, there appears an issue here which concerns taking on an attitude by the Polish country towards the issue of teaching and upbringing the young generation; whereas we see how many difficult matters are in this field, often connected with drugs, but, first of all, resulting from the inability of adults to cope with upbringing young people who are subjected to many trends and temptations. Ordinary matters concerning lifestyle, behaviour of a boy or a girl, often become a big problem for educators today. We all know what role religion plays in life. It forms a human being internally and it helps him choose the world of values. So, if the hierarchy of values collapses among young people, they need help and they need some support. The fact that some young people go away from faith, does not mean that the young generation of Poles is not looking for God, as it is with us, adults. It is not true that young people stop attending religion lessons. However, there are centres which create and spread this opinion, wanting to form the awareness of the society that people reject their faith. But what do they give especially to young people in return? What motivation will they give them, so that they would be honest, good and behave respectfully towards their fathers and mothers, love their homeland and respect national culture and know history...
Religion teaches us to respect the most important matters in human life. Let’s look at how John Paul II showed beautifully the ideals of Polish culture: how he emphasized that we must love our homeland, he pointed out to the lesson resulting from our difficult but beautiful history, to national heroes – we all, the whole nation are grateful to him for it. He could draw attention of everybody to Christian values. For sure, Poles did not lose anything due to the fact that they had John Paul II and that they loved and listened to him; like we did not lose anything due to the fact that we had Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. Moreover, Jasna Góra with its Miraculous Picture of Our Lady is not – and has never been a loss for the Polish nation. Here the spirit of the real freedom has always woken up – without any revenge, but in truth and with courage. Today when we should enjoy independence, there are people who start trample on everything what they used to fight for and not only blue-collar workers but also white-collar workers – the Polish ‘Solidarity’ movement! Among postulates – after all we remember – there are also those which concern the freedom of practising religion. And now when we can decide about ourselves, when we reached to the concordat, and some inner stability with it, somebody wants to create a new old order. During his pilgrimage to Poland on 6 June 1991, speaking in Włocławek, John Paul II said: ‘Thanks to the changes which have taken place in our homeland recently, the catechesis came back to school classes and gained its place and reflection in the educational system. Personally, I am glad about it. However, I also want to repeat a phrase which I often use because it reflects a live truth about every grace, every gift: it is given and assigned to you. In this spirit we must accept this gift in the Christian society and keep it. Here we need much good will, effort, friendliness from everywhere and everybody: catechists, teachers, educational authorities and parents’. Therefore we must find back an inner strength in ourselves and say to everybody who attacks the Church and Christian values, like Cardinal Wyszyński used to say: ‘Non possumus!’ – ‘We are not allowed! We are not allowed to remain silent any longer. There is too much harassment of the Church and Polish Catholics. However, there is a big majority of us! We do not agree with the decision of the National Broadcasting Council concerning the Television ‘Trwam’. We cannot tolerate all this any more, which is not only an act of aversion towards God and the Holy Church, but it does not serve to Poland, either.