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Polish bishops oppose 'unbridled capitalism'

Poland's bishops say that "unbridled capitalism" after the fall of the Berlin Wall has widened the gap between rich and poor in their country.

In a document issued following their plenary synod, the bishops lamented the social changes that are threatening the traditional family. They expressed concern over the increase in the number of divorces and cases of unwed couples living together, as well as the "anti-family point of view" of the media and advertising.

The bishops also appealed to the government to combat growing unemployment and carry out a tax reform that will benefit families.

They expressed their opposition to so-called postmodernism, inasmuch as it is "a close relative of nihilism" and the "culture of death," a result of ideological liberalism and the loss of ideals.

Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, secretary of the plenary synod, and a well-known theologian and writer, warned the faithful not "to give in to the temptation to power," given the fact that many one-time members of the former Solidarity labor union are in the center-right government coalition, which is divided, contentious and ill-prepared.

The bishops reminded parishes that they must not become the scene of political struggles, and that priests "must fulfill their duty as 'defenders of good and truth.'"

The bishops also scrutinised politicians who present themselves as spokesman of Catholic social doctrine. Bishop Pieronek asked: "It is well known that they often refer to the social doctrine of the Church, but do they all know what they are talking about?"