Polish Church ‘Should Make a Greater Effort to Understand Pope Francis,’ Priest Says

World Youth Day kicks off in Krackow, Poland this week so stories will be mostly focused on that event.  Based on WYD in Rio in 2013, PF will surprise us and it will not be the run of the mill event these have been the last few times.  I you have not  been following events in Poland these last few months a bit of background is needed to understand this article.  A new government was elected, PiS and it is reactionary and nationalistic.  It seems that the Polish bishops are aligning themselves with the government because it is espousing policies right in line with the bishop’s agenda, for example, the repeal of the law that legalized abortion.  The repeal law includes a draconian measure that will make it mandatory that a woman who miscarries must be investigated by the police to ensure it was not really an abortion.  I found it interesting that PF will meet with the Polish bishops as his first event after all the required meet and greet of the government folks in the evening of the first day.  It will be behind closed doors which is not what he usually does, and it will be as a dialogue, not a speech.  In the past these events are televised and interesting to watch, especially the body language of the bishops.  PF usually has a prepared speech and then sets it aside to do spontaneous off the cuff remarks or will answer a few questions from the assembly.  The Polish bishops have been very resistant to PF, and especially to Amoris laetitia.  I expect this meeting may be a “Come to Papa”, as in Francesco, event.  I hope something will be leaked so we will see reports about it….reyanna

By Gerald O’Connell         July 25, 2016       America On-line

The Polish church “should make a greater effort to understand Pope Francis in the context of South America, just as the people of Western Europe, after the election of John Paul II, tried to understand the specific reality of life in a communist state from which the pope then came.”

That is what Tomasz Dostatni, O.P., a writer and pastor in Poland who lives in Lublin and is actively engaged in ecumenical and social dialogue, told America on the eve of Pope Francis’ first visit to his homeland (July 27-31) on the occasion of World Youth Day.

Father Dostatni sees a clear continuity between St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, as they both sought to bring down walls. The Polish pope sought to bring down the wall erected by communism between East and West, while the Argentinean pope is trying to bring down “the invisible wall” between the rich North and the poor South of the world, he said.

In this interview, conducted by phone, he spoke about the political situation in Poland today, the process of “de-Wojtyla-isation” that is under way and the negative reaction to immigrants. In particular, he expressed concern that the Polish church has aligned itself too closely to one political party, which is now governing the country, and says that it has not understood how to live and act as a free church in a free democratic state.

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