12 days ago
The church faces a major crisis in its relationship with its own flock, argues Maciej Eckardt.
The leader of the ruling party Jarosław Kaczyński said recently that those who want to destroy Poland first begin by destroying the church. But Kaczyński’s willingness to reach out to the Catholic hierarchy maybe a tempting offer at a time when the church is under attack, yet one that could prove the church’s undoing. The alliance of altar and throne rather than a dealing with internal problems could be tantamount to putting out a fire by dousing it with petrol.
The remaining two weeks of the present election campaign will put the Catholic church at center stage. The liberals will accuse the conservatives of defending pedophile priests and in return the conservatives will attack the liberals as defenders of gay marriage.
What the church really needs is a return to its roots through the admission of sin, penitence and compensating the victims. There must be zero tolerance not only for pedophiles but also the homosexual lobby within the church.
If this is not done the Polish church is on the road to repeating the Irish experience. Something has changed and the genie cannot be put back in the bottle. And the proverbial pandora’s box is only now being opened.
Priests living an opulent life style, having relations with women and drink problems have been around for years. But pedophilia is too odious for it to be tolerated and its not clear that the hierarchy realizes the position it is now in. Their language and manner in all this is too detached and annoys their own flock.
Without some form of catharsis, the hierarchy is in danger of putting out the light of faith for their congregations. They will not want to face their Maker after such a legacy.