NEW IS COMING WITH POPE FRANCIS
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
‘I want the Church for the poor!’ – it was said so by the Holy Father Francis in his speech to journalists. These are the words which are a bit surprising and forcing to ask a question how the Church is supposed to understand this desire of the Supreme Priest and Leader for the nearest years. The Church for the poor is one which is all over the world. The whole Church, as far as material side is concerned, is not rich. There may be countries where the Church is well-off, but we must note that the whole Christian world is the world of poor people. Let’s think about Latin America, from which the present pope Francis comes – it is a very poor continent. Similarly Africa where Christianity is developing, belongs to poor continents, not saying about Asia where the Church is really poor. The American or European Church do not present any big wealth either. It is also a poor Church, although it sometimes seems that it likes a kind of wealth and is directed towards greatness. Summing up – the Holy Father is right, when he states that the Church is poor and, first of all, it must go out towards the poor and people in need. Poor people in the Church are begging for mercifulness, want to live in a kind of relative welfare.
However, those are calling for mercifulness the most, who have not been born yet, that is, people who are in the embryo state. The Church says: we are defending human life from conception till the natural death. Blessed John Paul II wrote about it in ‘Evangelium vitae’, defending life civilization. It is worth mentioning the prominent professor of the Catholic University of Lublin – the late priest prof. Tadeusz Styczeń, who, in his statements, said about the unborn, the littlest ones, the ones in need, the defenseless so cordially. He used to say that it is a human being waiting for his development, birth and self-fulfillment. He has everything in himself, he is provided with the genetic code, the immortal soul, he is prepared for existing in an ordinary, normal life. But he is also a human being awaiting mercifulness of mother, father, closest people, also a doctor, a nurse, the society and the country.
I think that Pope Francis pays attention to those poor, defenseless little people who are really poor. The Church notices those poor people in order to defend and help them. Such a Church is never going to be a shame for the world. Such a Church which notices people in need, together with Christ, its Founder, is always going to be our pride and joy.
The document of the Polish Episcopate about bioethical challenges, which are faced by the contemporary man, is a statement of the highest significance. It gives an explanation concerning human life from conception till the natural death. So, it should be not only read carefully by us, but thoroughly studied. For, there are trends present in media, press, radio, TV information, which raise a commotion in human minds. The Catholics are often unaware that they give themselves in moral deviation when they change their attitudes towards the Decalogue. Because abortion and euthanasia are options which are aimed against God’s law, destroy it and devastate human conscience, open to the deepest and most important matters concerning human life and death. Abortion trends, which are atheistic, have possessed many societies, and are proclaimed by people who are somehow following the leader of the Bolshevik revolution of Lenin, who was the first one to have introduced killing the unborn in the Soviet Russia on large scale.
Today the world is influenced by the Marxism theories again which are functioning in the form of directives given to the nation, being truly atheistic. These trends which are penetrating into not only philosophical, but also medical environments, especially the political and economic ones, are dangerous for the future of the mankind.
Therefore, it is good that we are receiving this very important document. I would like to add, that bishops are emphasizing here not only the importance of the essence of the very document, but also the importance of engagement of the Catholic laymen, who should stand in defense of human life in every form and every moment. Political engagement of the Catholic laymen should result in a good law; well-elected representatives for the Parliament should secure human life, including the life of their citizens. Polish Catholics should get engaged in political life, definitely recognize the Catholic social teaching, moral teaching of the Church, pay attention to honesty of the whole state and economic life. It is not allowed to govern the country by people who are not honest, responsible, who do not respect God’s commandments and do not give a good example of personal, family and civic life.
The Polish Episcopate with the bioethical document puts very clear requirements to everybody. This important step was taken by Polish bishops towards the nation, which is the nation of John Paul II. It must wake up and call things by name. Teaching of Jesus Christ is clear and should function in the Polish social life.
So, I think that this document, concerning the beginnings of every human life, will be an encouragement for Polish Catholics, so that they would also undertake strong steps towards enlivening the Catholic look at family, social, cultural and political life, together with the study of ethics concerning the conceived life.
Let the voice of the Episcopate meet with the response in the life of our nation and country. Let believers gathered in Catholic organizations, especially the Catholic Action, find their place in the public life. Let Poland really become a Catholic country. Let the teaching of John Paul II sound in Poland once again. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is our only salvation – we remember about it. If we plunge into inactivity – we will become sluggish and Poland will die. Is we enliven our Christianity – Poland will resurrect, will shine with greatness and will be an example for the revival of whole Europe.