Polish Bishops are against the resolution of the Council of Europe
The Standing Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, enlarged by the presence of diocesan bishops, at its session at Jasna Gora on 2 May, issued a categorical protest against the resolution concerning depenalisation of abortion and access to safe abortion, adopted on 16 April 2008 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. As Bishop Stanislaw Budzik, Secretary General of the Bishops’ Conference, informed the Polish bishops expressed their decisive protest against the resolution in a special document. Since the resolution made by the Council of Europe contains an appeal to members states to legalise abortion in these places where it is illegal. The bishops remind the faithful that abortion is always a murder of a completely defenceless child. They also stress that the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe harms defenceless children and their mothers as well as whole societies. ‘It can also do irreparable harm to the idea of bringing all nations of our continent to unity since one can hardly imagine a true unity of Europe being built on the right to kill some groups of people’, the bishops notice. They express their categorical protest against the attempt to impose administratively the principles that are contrary to the fundamental moral sensitivity of human consciences. The bishops also discussed the issues concerning the legal regulations in the field of bioethics. They reminded believers that bioethics goes far beyond the ‘in vitro’ sphere and also concerns transplantations and genetic manipulations.
During the session the Standing Council of the Bishops’ Conference got to know the initiative of the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow concerning documenting the help of the Catholic Church offered to the Jews during World War II in Poland. They can see the need of detailed examination of this subject to show the big number of the nameless heroes and the wide range of the help for the Jews organised by the Catholic Church. The bishops received the text of the Vatican document concerning the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Priests that would be held on 30 May 2008, on the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the document concerning bishops emeritus, which contained the statements of the Church on the subject. The bishops got acquainted with the idea of a guide to the possibilities of using the structural EU funds by the Churches and denominational associations. The guide will be suggested to parishes to be used in their social activities and monument preservation. Final decisions concerning the discussed issues will be taken on 17-18 June during the Plenary Session of the Polish Bishops’ Conference in Katowice.