‘The soft play with the clergy is coming to an end’ — Desperate Polish Left calls for state funding cuts for Catholic Church

Poland's Left party, performing poorly in opinion polls just two weeks ahead of the European elections, has demanded that Prime Minister Donald Tusk moves against any state financing for the Catholic Church

The Left party members during an election campaign. (Source: x@wlodekczarzasty).
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The Left party, which is part of the ruling coalition in Poland, is demanding that Prime Minister Donald Tusk report to parliament on the scale of state financing for Poland’s Catholic Church.

According to Left MP Anna Maria Żukowska, the problem is not only the financial commitments that arise from the Concordat treaty between Poland and the Vatican, or the existence of the State Church Fund, but the financing of many institutions with close ties to the Church. She demanded that the prime minister report to parliament on the full scale of funding. 

The leader of the Left party, Włodzimierz Czarzasty, pulled no punches. “The soft play with the clergy is coming to an end. We’re not against faith or those who practice it, but we want to fight the evils connected with the funding of the clergy,” he said.

Czarzasty demanded full disclosure of the scale of the spending on catechism instructors in schools and chaplains in the armed forces, grants for Church property, and the sums being spent on pensions for the clergy. He claimed that the Church was receiving in the region of €1.85 billion a year and demanded that the clergy should no longer be a privileged group in society.

The conservative news outlet wpolityce.pl assesses that the Left party, after its poor showing in the parliamentary and local elections, wants to avoid the humiliation of failing to secure representation in the European Parliament. This is why it is doing all it can to differentiate itself from Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO), which has in recent years invaded its territory on issues such as abortion, LGBT rights, and secularization of the state.

It is significant that the Left wants to fight based on these issues rather than bread-and-butter issues for the political left such as combating poverty.

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