WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: - A serious crisis of faith and traditional values resulting from it, and, consequently, the crisis of family as the basic cell of the society functioning in the western civilization has been described for decades. However, since when it became possible, young Poles have been migrating to the countries of western Europe, because – as they justify – life is better, easier there, and it is easier to get work, as well as social help for families which is very encouraging. So, maybe, we should not mourn over the crisis of the western-European institution of family so much?

TADEUSZ WOŹNIAK: - This situation shows that family – also in the West, despite various strange cultural trends smothering it – still remains the fundament of the social life. It is not disappearing although the domineering liberal trend is trying to destroy everything which is natural and traditional, normal, that is, it is trying to depreciate the traditional model of life, mainly the family life. The natural human dignity is breached – although the human being is and should be! – the subject of action of all kinds of authorities caring about the good of societies. It is clearly said by the Catholic social teaching and a philosophical trend called personalism. Unfortunately, in today’s world – or maybe mainly in Western Europe, which has been so related to Christian faith, to Catholicism for many centuries – there is a serious moral crisis, social turmoil, for example, mass migrations of people. All this disturbs our sense of the reality which we have always considered as normal and to which we have been accustomed. Therefore it is necessary to take care and take up a fight for Christian fundaments of our civilization.

Together with the wave of Islamic immigration the West is overwhelmed by the Arabic tradition of a great respect to families with many children. Shouldn’t it raise our reflection?

I have been to a few Arabic countries, and I also met families there. I must admit that despite various cultural differences, often difficult for us to accept, the Muslims pay a great attention to family life, to having lots of children and bringing up children according to their religion. Indeed, Islamic immigrants could be an example and sobering stimulus for the hedonic West, if it was not for the fact that they are arriving at the West being tempted by a convenient life. Anyway, islamization of Europe is progressing and from our point of view it is a very dangerous phenomenon.

Immigrants announce that they want to bring their whole families to the European paradise.

It is high time the Europeans – if they are not going to get subordinated to Islamic trends and customs in the near future – started thinking on themselves. Is destroying the traditional model of the Christian family really payable? Doesn’t it foreshadow the collapse of the western civilization in comparison to the overwhelming foreign culture? Today in many western cities there are Muslim districts in which the Europeans may feel a bit uncomfortable. There are a lot of places in Europe where – for the time being – sharia is binding.

Because it was thoughtlessly allowed for this situation by the western societies fascinated by the multiculture idea and which did not take up a reflection on the state of their own families, on their childlessness…

I would say that there is no thinking about one’s own future. Governments assumed long time ago that demographic gaps on the employment market can be filled in with immigrants. The chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel pronounced a public invitation for settling down in Germany, and the Arab Spring was a factor which triggered out migrations on a large scale. Depopulating western countries – mainly Germany, France and other countries – wanted to multiply the number of their citizens not to be at economical or political loss or lose prestige in comparison to other countries. In rich depopulating western countries the so-called social system supporting social benefits was developed in order to attract immigrants. All this caused a situation in which the migration of the Muslim people from Africa and Asia got larger and brought the consequences which were unexpected later.

Shouldn’t Poland worry today that too many young Poles have migrated to the West in the recent years and our employment market must agree to immigrants from Ukraine?

It would be necessary to use all possible ways to encourage our compatriots to return, as conditions of life in Poland are getting improved: there is work, there are suitable governmental programs (for example, 500+, 300+, House+ and others). However, it is necessary to understand the situation which appeared after Poland got independent from the Soviet supremacy when it was possible to travel to the West without any difficulties – which appeared when borders were opened in relation to Poland joining the Schengen zone – in order to earn ‘real money’ and thanks to it provide families in Poland with the high-standard life.

But these families began to get divorced or began to move to the West, as a result of their separation. This phenomenon is quite visible especially in small Polish towns, from where a big wave of emigration was leaving for the West ‘to earn living’. The governments of the Third Republic of Poland were not very worried about it….

Or maybe they were even glad because thanks to it, the unemployment rates were getting reduced, and nobody was thinking about a family as the fundament of the country future for ideological reasons. There was the so-called temporary divorce of families. Particularly children missed their parents, and they were even suffering when being brought up via a phone call or Skype. These families were experiencing serious crisis or got divorced after some time. This is a really dangerous phenomenon. And today we are in a situation when nearly 2 million young Poles organized their life abroad in such a way that they are not thinking of returning to Poland.

And, we do not perceive this problem here yet, nor see a particular loss.

Unfortunately, it is true, although this is a really serious loss for Poland. We are following the western scenario from a few dozen years ago. My town of 40 thousand population, has already been inhabited by about 3.5 thousand Ukrainians who also work here. What is comforting is the fact that they do not bring any problems of cultural or social nature. They do not want to talk about problems of political or historic nature. They work here to earn the living for their families in Ukraine, which often get divorced as well. So, they are following our historic mistakes. I often feel sorry to them.

And, paradoxically, in this long chain of migration to the West to earn the living for families, there is less and less place for a normal family…

We should not forget that this chain of abnormality was initiated long time ago in the West which was desperately looking for people to employ, and the pre-beginning of it was the ideology launching comfortable and entertaining life, in which a normal family with many children was an nuisance. There were attempts to make societies believe that marriage and a family with many children was old-fashioned, abnormality. Those families and parents were often teased.

To what extent, in your opinion, is this civilization-cultural phenomenon touching Poland today?

Surely, the low demographic growth in Poland resulted not from hedonic attitude of Poles, but mainly from difficult conditions of life, from impossibility of earning the living for families according to expected standards. It was often said that the standard was objective (socialistic). In the Third Republic of Poland – especially at the times of post-communist leftist policy and then the policy of the Civic Platform party and the Polish People Party – there were attempts to put the significance of the traditional family aside on the margin. No attention was paid to the great social capital, which is brought by families with many children. There were strong attempts to launch a modern western style of life. After some time families with many children, often not wealthy, also in our country, began to perceive this phenomenon as pathological. In many groups this understanding of having many children has been present till today.

But this implantation of the western ‘modernity’ has not been completely successful!

Because in Poland we still feel the authority towards the Church to which a definite majority of Poles declare their belonging, so not everything has been lost. However, for the whole time – from the communist times till now – there is a fight for maintaining the Polish tradition and values coming from faith. And – I will say on the basis of my own experience – it is not easy. When we wanted to establish an institution of the Spokesman of Family’s Rights, our bill draft was rejected by the Seym already in the first reading by the majority of votes of the Civic Platform party and the Polish People Party, Movement of Palikot and others. For 7 years we had been fighting for establishing the Day of Family’s Rights in Poland and only during the current cadency of the Seym – that is, at the fourth attempt, after the change of the authority – our bill draft was accepted. The Day of Family’s Rights is celebrated in Poland on 22 October.

How was this earlier disagreement to all pro-family actions explained?

Liberals were explaining it with the constitution (similarly as today). They were saying: if you want the country to support a family, show a definition of a family in the constitution!

And it closed the discussion, isn’t it?

Not at all. But, indeed, our constitution says that the Polish country concentrates on parents’ care but it does not define it. Whereas we find – dangerously ambiguous – legal definitions of a family in detailed bills. The bill about the social care says, for example, that a family is understood as people running their common household. It is difficult to consider it as a legally precise definition. A worse description of a family is in the Bill about counteracting violence in a family. I would even say that this is a bill aimed against our understanding what a family is.


Because this is the only bill as such – enacted by the leftist party, in the final governing time of the Polish People’s Party – in which the term ‘violence in a family’ appears over 120 times. This bill suggests directly that a family is the source of violence. Every family, not only the pathological one! What is interesting, law-makers ignored other sources of violence; there are no bills about counteracting violence on stadiums, in workplaces, schools, in the public space, but today we have the bill about counteracting violence in a family, but in a family based on a marriage of a woman and a man this violence hardly ever appears! But, according to the bill a family is understood as people living together. It is difficult to treat it as a legal definition of a family, whereas this imprecise term can be thought as harmful for a family – terminological commotion. And if we do not know what a normal family is like, we begin to doubt in the sense of its existence. Poles are deciding to get married less and less frequently, and live in the so-called partnership couples and more and more children are born outside marriage, that is, outside a family in a traditional understanding.

So, isn’t it time we changed bad bills?

Indeed my commitment is to cause a change of the Bill about counteracting violence in a family, but now we must wait for suitable political conditions. I believe that it will happen soon.

Haven’t they appeared yet?

Unfortunately, now this kind of issues cause long discussions at once, as well as political disputes, even an ideological fight. But we are not going to allow for this topic and I deeply believe that, if not during this cadency – but only if God allows for it – in the next one we will implement the basic change in care about a family, about its identity, about its subjectivity, about a proper perception of a family and its right place in the law and the society.

So, how should this bill be changed if it was possible?

In my opinion, it would be the best for everybody to replace this bill about counteracting violence in a family with a general bill about counteracting violence comprising all areas and possibilities of the appearance of violence, and not concentrating only on a family, and in a pejorative sense. It is obvious that in the society there are dysfunctional families in which there is really violence and this violence must be counteracted, and those who commit it should be punished. However, what is the most important is upbringing and proper preparing people for marriage and family life.

Whereas it is necessary to face up created problems, for example, what is violence in a family and what is not, as, for example, a child can accuse his parents of forcing him to do homework….

The so-called non-stressful upbringing – is binding in liberal groups – and is also a danger for a proper functioning of a family. Unfortunately, parents concentrated on political correctness, sometimes do not know how they should behave, for example, in a case of a child’s hysteria ….So, we are dealing more and more often with dysfunctional families in this sense that children brought up in a stress-free way use violence themselves towards their parents and their mates at school. Somebody from whom nobody demands anything, will not demand from himself. He will become an egoist and hedonist. What do you think is the most serious danger in today’s world, also in Poland, for the so-called normal traditional family? What is the most dangerous is a constant growing tendency to redefine the term of a family. The very fact that we must use the additional words ‘normal, traditional’ proves is. Influential leftist-liberal groups want to change the world in their own way, in the name of infinite human freedom. All the time we must be vigil to protect the Polish family from outer influences degrading it. So far we have managed not to allow for the legal sanctioning homosexual couples or other so-called partnership ones, despite a lot of pressures. In many EU countries there has already appeared a complete legalization of such couples, that is, acknowledging them as the ordinary families which do not raise any astonishment.

In Poland there has not been such a custom revolution yet. Can we be forced to change legal regulations in this issue?

We should not allow for it. A traditional family should be legally protected and privileged, as it is something on which the power of a country, nation and civilization is built. And today we see how badly the western civilization is coping with the invasion of the foreign culture, as it recanted its family. There is a danger that it will also recant its Christian roots.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 38/2018 (23 IX 2018)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: