STONES AT THE CHURCH
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
There is such a saying that the human being can be killed with a newspaper. Even though it refers to politicians – it is seen – one can hurt everybody with a newspaper today. In the ‘General weekly’ there appeared an article of Marek Zając entitled ‘Father is ruling’. It is an attack at Fr. Tadeusz Rydzyk CSsR, and also at Polish cardinals and bishops. The author criticizes Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz so strongly for the fact that during the Corpus Christi Procession he dared to support the Television Trwam. Strangely enough the author writes on the pages of the weekly which includes the adjective ‘Catholic’ in its name and is published in Cracow, and is attacking so aggressively and, what is worse, his spiritual shepherd. In this situation also Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz is being also attacked in the same matter.
I do not quite understand the intentions of people, including the editor of the ‘General weekly’, who attack the Television ‘Trwam’. By the way he gives false information that this television station is watched by about 5.5 thousand people (!) A similar opinion was expressed by the representative of the National Broadcasting Council Jan Dworak. We saw his arrogant behaviour towards Fr. Tadeusz Rydzyk. It was a reaction to the remark of the priest about a big amount of correspondence in the defence of the Television ‘Trwam’. We all are aware that the Television ‘Trwam’ is watched by cast crowds of viewers, definitely not by 5 or 10 thousand viewers. About 220 thousand decoders have already been sold, which are needed for watching this TV station, and, after all, there are still other ways of watching it.
The editor Zając refuses to take away the voice from the shepherds of the Church, claiming the good of the faithful. If over 2.2 million people are giving their signatures in the form of the appeal for granting the place on the digital multiplex to the Television ‘Trwam’, which will make it possible to broadcast the TV station in a better and not complicated way, so it is not a trivial number of viewers! The authority held by the Civic Platform and the Polish People’s Alliance today, after the death of the President Lech Kaczyński, has taken over the majority of posts in the group of decision-makers. It means that people who would like to tell an inconvenient truth to the governing politicians do not have a place or possibility. Luckily, there is still internet, blogs and other free relays.
‘Newsweek Poland’ joins the ‘General weekly’. Aleksandra Pawlicka also arrogantly takes on an attitude against Cardinal Dziwisz. She compared him with Cardinal Macharski who had allegedly walked in the Plants Park in Cracow, talked with people but Cardinal Dziwisz does not do it...In her text, everything which is connected with Cardinal Dziwisz, is presented in a very unfavourable light. He conducts the Church in a bad way and he treats the relics of John Paul II in a bad way, he governs in a bad way and it is difficult to get to him...These are circulating accusations which are made against every bishop. And the absolute condemnation was experienced by the Cracow bishop for accepting President Lech Kaczyński with his spouse at Wawel. It happened that one of my friends was among people deciding about the burial of the presidential couple. And I know exactly how it was, and what an excellent role was played by Cardinal Dziwisz at this time.
In the 60s and 70s the God’s servant Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński used to say about stones which are thrown against the Church. These very strong sermons of the Millenuim Primate were given at the times of communism which was professionally fighting against the Church. All newspapers at that time had their attitudes to fight against the Church, Cardinal Wyszyński, bishops and priests. The same happened in radio and television stations. I remember Władysław Gomulka shouting, shaking his fists against the Cardinal. The time of Gomulka, Gierek and Jaruzelski has gone and new times appeared – the Polish solidarity, shipyards on the Coast, mines in the Silesia, the quick beginning of the 80s, the Berlin wall collapsed. It led to the collapse of the People’s Polish Republic and the year 1999 indicated new general elections and a kind of new Poland.
It happened that at this time smart and canny people caused a situation of purchasing media by foreign owners, rich people and different provenience which is also definitely anti-Christian. And we saw after a few years that media writes and speaks in Polish but not in the Polish spirit or not in the interest of our homeland. These media are functioning also today. So we can repeat after Cardinal Wyszyński about the stones thrown to the Church. How many stones were being thrown at that time, when it seemed that Poland was governed by people friendly to the Church and Christianity. These basic big attacks Polish bishops and priests were at the time when the archives of the Institute of the National Remembrance started to work.
Now everybody forgets that it were even the authorities and professors of universities who gave their premises to the Security Services and were obedient to bad people and against the nation. It was so everywhere, in every sphere of life – in industries, universities, workplaces and institutions - there was an element of the Security Office everywhere which played its dishonourable functions.
When a time of clarification came, there was an attack at the Church and priests. We hold the grudge to the decision-makers of those times that they allowed for the fact that they did not show the objective state of things. Anyway, just after the death of John Paul II there was an attack at F. Konrad Hejmo OP, who had cooperated with him. In one of the conversations F. Konrad said to me: ‘You know, I have never expected that there is a spy in Vatican, who would like to be a sneak. To my great surprise, I was proclaimed this co-operator.
These people were often mocked at, derided, destroyed, not leading to the point or essence of the truth, giving opinions which – I think – are untrue and unfair. Here one must also say about completely tormented Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus. He has expressed his thanks in a letter recently, saying about injustice which he has experienced. There are really many such people of the Church who are insulted and defamed.
Today we must reach to the truth more effectively. Such a possibility is given to us by the Catholic weeklies being in the hands of bishops. I am afraid that the ‘General weekly’ is not so any more due to the vacant post of the ecclesiastical assistant. The condition for the Catholic newspaper is the presence of such a person in the editorial office. It is the person who is responsible for loyalty to the faith and customs on the pages of the newspaper. The Catholic weekly has a possibility to tell the truth which is not only religious but also which says about the life of citizens and a method of governing, etc. Let’s notice that Catholic weeklies do not function on the field of the owners who are managing from abroad. They are trying to tell the truth about the reality in a free and genuine way. I remember the times when the censorship was functioning easily. It used to cut out sentences or whole articles and did not give permission for printing them. Today, formally, there is no institution of censorship but it is still present in many institutions, including newspapers, certainly, being informal, hidden, but not less effective. Hence, from the point of view of the governing politicians, the general presence of the Television ‘Trwam’ at Polish homes would be inconvenient for them. Therefore we must really stick to the Church, the teaching of bishops, people who love the truth and proclaim it. There is such a Latin saying: ‘Bene distinguere’ – it is good to distinguish. It is about distinguishing the truth from falsehood. We will pray in the intention of Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, so that, similarly as the bishop and martyr St. Stanislaw, he would be a refuge for the faithful people and a witness of the truth, what is good, fair and agreeable with the Gospel. In this case it says about what was clearly expressed by Christ: ‘The truth will free you’ (J.8.32). As far as the option is concerned, which is expressed by cardinals and bishops, also the one supporting the Television ‘Trwam’, it is not nothing else but the option of Christ, that the truth will free us. Supporting the Television ‘trwam’, we support the truth, and what is the most important in the teaching of Jesus Christ, that, first of all, we must serve the truth which defends itself where there is the freedom of speech and there are no foreign influences, or hidden decision-makers or foreign directives.