Donald Tusk to Obliterate Catholic Religion

Poland's government led by Donald Tusk is set to force back religion and religious education, prompting the church to protest in a letter against the plans of the leftist-liberal cabinet. More than 80 per cent of pupils in schools and preschools across Poland attended optional religious education classes in the 2021-2022 school year.

Forrás: V4NA2024. 02. 21. 15:52
TUSK, Donald
Varsó, 2024. január 30. Donald Tusk lengyel miniszterelnök sajtóértekezletet tart a kabinet ülése után Varsóban 2024. január 30-án. Az október 15-i parlamenti választásokat követõen Lengyelországban áprilisban tartanak önkormányzati választásokat. MTI/EPA-PAP/Rafal Guz Fotó: Rafal Guz
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The Polish Catholic church opposes the government's proposed cuts to the number of religious education classes and rejects plans to abolish the giving of marks in religious education. The classes, which are optional but attended by most students, are hosted and funded by state schools, but the Catholic church selects the teachers and curricula, the international V4NA news agency reports.

Barbara Nowacka, the new education minister, argues that two religious education classes a week are too many, being more than students get in other subjects. Last December, she announced her plan to reduce religious education classes to one per week.


The education committee of the episcopate expressed deep concern over the proposals, stressing that access to religious education is a human right.

The right to access to religious classes on the premises of a public school derives from fundamental human rights, in particular the right to religious freedom, the right to education, and parents’ right to bring up their children in accordance with their religious convictions,

the statement says. Furthermore, the episcopate highlighted that changes pertaining to the organisation of the teaching of Catholic catechism at school should take place in consultation with churches and religious associations, and that the approval of the bishop is needed to reduce the number of religious education classes.

The church also expressed concern that in the event of a reduction in the number of hours of religious instruction in schools, thousands of religious education teachers would lose their jobs, imparting an extremely negative impact on their personal lives and the fate of their families. The church also considers the proposal to end the practice of including marks awarded in religious education and ethics in the final school reports as unfair.

Students should be rewarded for their work, and receiving a mark is the reward and appreciation of their efforts, which also has a motivational function,

the church pointed out. Religious education teaches moral values to students, plays an enormous educational role and strongly bolsters the educational role of schools, the episcopate stressed.

Religious education in schools has great cultural value. It helps us understand our culture with its Christian roots. It also provides cognitive tools for understanding literature and art,

the church added.

Across Poland, over 80 per cent of pupils in schools and preschools attended the optional classes in the 2021-2022 school year. However, attendance has been declining in recent years, particularly in large towns. In Warsaw, mere 29 per cent of secondary school students opted for religious education classes.

Donald Tusk goes out of his way to repress religion

On 27 December, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk confirmed that his coalition that had just taken office would abolish the state church fund as part of its reforms.

Many Catholics believe that financial allocations to the church should be decided by society and not by politicians, Father Zielinski based in Warsaw told OSV News in an interview, adding that in his view, taking less and handing out less would more truly express liberalism.

Meanwhile, a prominent Catholic historian told OSV News that Tusk's government had already damaged public trust and made cooperation with the church harder by violating the law and acting brutally when the public media was taken over before Christmas.

Part of the new coalition is ideologically hostile to the church and is now in a strong position to shape policy in line with its own priorities,

he said.

Cover photo: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (Photo: MTI/EPA-PAP/Rafal Guz)

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