Bishops admonishing bishops. The Polish Catholic media are silent!

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Bishops admonishing bishops. The Polish Catholic media are silent!
Źródło: (Yolanda Coervers)

The Ukrainian Commission for the pastoral care of families at the Episcopate of the Ukraine sent a letter of correction to their counterparts in the German Episcopate. That document was backed up by the President of the Episcopate Bp Bronisław Bernacki and his vice-president Abp Mieczysław Mokrzycki. Despite a long tradition of fraternal correction in the modern Church, it hasn’t happened too often. In this case, the Ukrainian bishops decided to openly express their position. had already mentioned that topic before the Ukrainian bishops’ letter was published. Paweł Chmielewski stated that “The Catholic Church in Germany has been on the way of schism for over 50 years. In 1968 the bishops of the Federal Republic of Germany rejected the teaching prohibiting the use of contraceptives expressed by St. Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae.

In the document on this problem, known as the Declaration of Königstein, they recognized the Magisterium of the Church as relative and allowed the faithful to make a personal decision of conscience whether to accept it or not. Similar declarations were also published by other episcopates at that time, including those in Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium and Holland.


Their position was criticized first by Paul VI and then by St. John Paul II, although in the end the Holy See didn’t manage to have them reverse their errors. Heterodoxy de facto started to be tolerated.”


In February the Commission for the pastoral care of families at the Episcopate of the Ukraine sent a letter to their German counterparts. It was supported by the president of the Episcopate Bronisław Bernacki and his vice-president Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki. The authors reacted to the statements of the German Commission for Marriage and the Family which were expressed during the conference on human sexuality in Berlin on December 4, 2019.


The harmfulness of German progressivism


Journalist Grzegorz Górny translated a fragment of that letter and published it in As the Ukrainian bishops said in their letter, “LGBT circles are carrying out a mass ideological attack on our youth and children in order to corrupt them morally. The aforementioned organizations justify and support their activities and their propaganda also by the new outlook of the German Episcopate.”


The hierarchs of our Eastern neighbor also added that “some of our faithful, who carry the burden of homosexuality and other wounds in the sexual sphere, learning about such statements from your Commission, feel hopeless in their struggle to lead a chaste life.” “Marriaged people who object to the contraceptive mentality of this world and are open to the gift of life experience deep doubt after reading your opinions about contraception”, the Ukrainian bishops quoted by stated.


In their letter on the German Synodal Path the Ukrainian shepherds also noticed that Christians from other denominations sometimes accuse the Ukrainian faithful of departing from the revealed truth! This has happened because of the German hierarchs’ opinion, which is erroneously treated as the stance of the universal Church.


The case was further covered by The website published Krystian Kratiuk’s interview with Father Roman Laba, a Pauline monk, the director of the Ukrainian office for the pastoral care of families at the Conference of the Ukrainian Episcopate. Father Laba underlined, “Many Christians live convinced that what’s happening in Germany maybe is not right, but it’s the Germans’ problem. This isn’t the case! It is a problem for the Church. The main responsibility of the bishops is to guard the deposit of Faith and take care of the Body of the Church. And if it is ill in some part, the other can’t say, Is it our business?


Western media get interested...


Interest has been aroused in some Western media. The issue was described by the well-known Vatican expert Edward Pentin in the National Catholic Register. Appropriate information was also published by the blog Catholic Culture.


Also Church Militant reported on the problem, adding a Polish historical note. Martina Moyski noticed that the Latin rite of the Church in the Ukraine has remained the same, and this is in connection with the Polish minority in the Ukraine. She mentioned that leadership in the Church is exercised by the Polish religious, although the percentage of Ukrainians has increased in the last decade.


The Canadian Life Site News published a translation of the interview with Father Laba. They also included a news article by Dorothy Cummings McLean.


... and silence in Poland


The lack of a reaction by the Catholic Polish media is surprising. The only exception or maybe one of the few exceptions is the website The silence of the majority is astonishing for a few reasons.


First of all, it is a document of expositional importance, rarely encountered, maybe even unprecedented in the most recent history of the Church.


Secondly, it is a document defending the Tradition of the Church in the sphere of marriage and the family. Meaning that it defends the tenets dear to John Paul II, who is assumed to be so close to the hearts of Polish people.


Thirdly, it is a document authored by the bishops of one Polish neighbor to address the bishops of another Polish neighbor. The incident should, therefore, even from sheer geographical perspective, be of interest to Poles. And maybe it would have gotten their attention if not for the astonishing silence of the overwhelming majority of the media – Polish and officially Catholic.


Marcin Jendrzejczak

Transl. Jan J. Franczak

DATA: 2020-02-22 16:52
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