GIVING A SUITABLE WORD TO THINGS
Another meeting with the Readers of ‘Niedziela’ which took place in the aula of the editorial office on 14 October this year, differed from others with the fact that the chief editor, Fr. inf. Ireneusz Skubiś, who has always had a role of a host, this time took a role as an author invited to present his books. These were two volumes of interviews conducted by him and published in ‘Niedziela’ in the years 1982-96, entitled: ‘Breakthrough time’ and ‘Did we pass the exam of regained freedom?’. The meeting was also accompanied by a beautiful artistic setting. It was started with a premier performance of ‘Ballad about ‘Niedziela’ ‘with the words of Kzrysztof Seweryn Wroński and music of Aleksandra Kowalska performed by the choir ‘Bride of the Holy Spirit’ from Częstochowa. During the evening, a student from the Music Academy in Cracow also gave his performance, a talented pianist Mateusz Kurcab. Among the participants of the meeting there were among the others: archbishop senior Stanisław Nowak and Fr. prof. Zachariasz Jabłoński – the general Definitor of the Pauline Fathers’ Order.
Also books have their fates
Nearly 100 interviews which we can read now thanks to the books, include the history of ‘Niedziela’ reactivated in 1981. – I did not think about publishing these interviews but someone of my friends noted that they would show the history of these 30 years - said Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś. But these interviews are not only history. As archbishop Wacław Depo, the metropolitan of Częstochowa, wrote in the introduction to the volume ‘Breakthrough Time’: ‘The book includes the interviews of the Chief Editor, that’s true, which were conducted in the years 1982-91, but their issues are still current: ‘in order to help others in getting to know the Redeemer and regain hope and sense of life in the basic mission of the Church’ (John Paul II)’.
The reminiscences of the main person of the evening recall an ancient thought of Terencusz: ‘Also books have their fates’. The interviews which constitute two volumes, started at the times of the Polish People’s Republic, in the condition of censorship which intervened into texts, sticking to obliging provisions. – One had to be careful not to breach particular paragraphs – said Fr. Skubiś. One also had to be aware that some issues would not be allowed to be published. It was so, for example, with the article about bishop Jan Cieplak, which contained a lot of true information about the Soviet Union. An important source of the historical knowledge are interviews from the time of political breakthrough, from the period of preparations for the World Youth Day in Częstochowa, and also interviews conducted at the end of the second millennium. – The reality presented in these interviews is colourful, presents non-average people, among whom there are priests being cardinals at present, merited people who are retired today. All this is passing into the past, becomes our history –noted Fr. Skubiś.
An interview is responsibility
It is worth reading opinions of the author about the journalistic genre which is not easy and which is an interview. – The interview is always a work of who is asking questions, but first of all, the work of the person who is answering the questions – explained Fr. Skubiś.- The interview is a social good, because an editor reaches to a person who deserves being asked important questions, and an interlocutor has a possibility to present his thought in a broad way, has a chance to reach to readers. Therefore, conducting interviews is connected with great responsibility.
Fr. Skubiś stated that, unfortunately, today we are witnesses of interviews, especially on television, in which pressure is made on an interlocutor, even forcing him to give his opinion; it happens that interviews are conducted in an arrogant and cynical way. – ‘Niedziela’ does not do this kind of journalism, we think that an editor is obliged to respect others – emphasized Fr. Skubiś, saying that his interlocutors had a possibility to authorize their pronouncements.
On pages of the volumes we will find interviews with cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz, bishop Roman Andrzejewski, Fr. Stanisław Ryłko (a cardinal at present), bishop Stanisław Nowak (archbishop senior at present), Fr. prof. Tadeusz Styczeń SDS, bishop Bohdan Bejze, bishop Adam Lepa, bishop Ryszard Karpiński, prelate priest Zdzisław Peszkowski. – Thanks to these interviews there the social consciousness is built – said Fr. Skubiś. – We have a big possibility to build the Christian consciousness, but it seems that Catholic newspapers are rarely used for this purpose in our society.
How is Fr. Skubiś?
The mentioned trend was enriched by archbishop Stanisław Nowak who said, among the others, about relationships of blessed John Paul II with ‘Niedziela’ and its chief editor.- Prelate Priest leaves a great wealth in the history of the Church – emphasized archbishop Nowak. He added that John Paul II had also appreciated the role of the chief editor. – I had many interviews about it, the Holy Father used to say on every occasion: ‘Blessing for ‘Niedziela’ ‘ and he asked cordially: ‘How is Fr. Skubiś?. It can be said that Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś was beloved by the Saint.
In the end of the evening participants had a possibility for an individual talk with the author and receive his autograph. Many people who had read the books, agreed with the reflection said by Marian Florek conducting the presentation, that in the changing reality the author of the interviews ‘was checking the social, political and religious temperature of our reality like a good doctor, he was attaching the thermometer and was diagnosing the state of Poland, the Church and the world, together with significant and prominent people.