Abp Gądecki pleads with the prime minister for a higher number of the faithful in churches [UPDATE]

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Abp Gądecki pleads with the prime minister for a higher number of the faithful in churches [UPDATE]
Fot: Krystian Maj/FORUM

The president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference Abp Stanisław Gądecki in his letter pleads with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for the need for more consistent, proportional and just criterion for the limiting the permissible number of the faithful in churches in the same way limits are made in other establishments.


The President of the Episcopate proposed that art. 9, section 2 of the Regulation of the Council of Ministers from April 10th, 2020 concerning certain limitations, orders and prohibitions because of the state of the epidemic should be as follows, “In the period from April 20th, 2020 until further notice concerning limitations in religious worship in public places, including buildings and other places of religious worship such limitations should require that while conducting religious worship, acts and religious rites in a given place there is one person per each 9 m2, not counting those conducting worship and ministering or people employed by a funeral parlor for funerals. The above mentioned regulations concern people present inside religious buildings. In other cases the general regulations for maintaining safe distances are applicable.”


Abp Gądecki wrote in his letter that the Catholic Church in Poland appreciated the Polish government actions which are aimed at protecting the life and health of Polish people during the pandemic. “The efforts undertaken by doctors, nurses, paramedics and other healthcare workers and uniformed services deserve particular recognition. The Church also supports the fight against the coronavirus through persistent daily prayer by the clergy, consecrated persons and faithful laity and through the significant help both personal and material provided by Caritas, the clergy, religious orders, the faithful laity and involved volunteers,” he said.


The President of the Episcopate also stated that because of the restrictions on movement and gatherings these times had also been very difficult in churches, particularly during the holiday period, although it is understandable in the context of the fight for human life. “The fruit of these actions is – as we believe – a lower number of people becoming ill and fatalities in comparison with other countries, where such restrictions were imposed too late. After many weeks of restrictions we are happy to hear the announcement about a reduction in the imposed limitations, including those concerning religious gatherings. For the strength to fight the epidemic is derived not only from the power of intellect or the psyche, but most of all from the power of one’s spirit, which for centuries has been fortified by the sacraments and joint prayer,” he wrote.


Abp Gądecki underlined the need for more consistent, proportional and just criterion for limiting the permissible number of the faithful in churches in the same way limits are made in other establishments. “Moreover, the restrictions shouldn’t include people staying outside the religious building, to whom general regulations regarding safe distance are applicable” – he stated. “I trust that thanks to the effort of all Polish people we manage to protect the health and life of many our countrymen and the situation, which we’re undergoing, will strengthen our unity and solidarity and make our society even stronger” – the president of the Episcopate added.


Trans. Jan J. Franczak


New restrictions implemented by government (start from 20th of April) allow higher number of faithful to atend sunday masses. Ordinance however limits number of participants to one person in 15 square meters of religious facility. Previous restrictions set a 5-people limit.

DATA: 2020-04-17 10:25
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