Poland Catholic Church Crisis
It was a gloomy forecast for the Polish Catholic Church.
“I say it’s a dark night for the church,” said Zbigniew Nosowski, one of Poland’s prominent intellectuals. “It is a difficult time of crisis.”
Nosowski, a sociologist and journalist, is editor-in-chief of Wiez (Bond), a scholarly quarterly. Speaking in a phone interview, he said that there is widespread dissatisfaction with the hierarchy of the church and its unwavering embrace of the right-wing authoritarian ruling party, Law and Justice, led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
The church played a crucial role in the transition from communism to democracy, said Dariusz Stola, professor of history at the Institute for Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. As a result, the church became enmeshed in the nation’s political affairs.
“In the last 20 years, we have seen an alliance between the church and the populist right, and this has alienated Poles inside and outside the church,” said Stola. “And now the church will pay for this questionable alliance.”
Poles who are in their 40s and 50s are not feeling a loss of faith, but rather a deep loss of identity with the church as an institution, said Nosowski. The church is also losing support from young people who are becoming increasingly secularized.