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Polish bishops defend regulations that would restrict clergy comments


Poland's bishops have defended new regulations that would oblige priests to obtain a bishop's permission before speaking to the media.

An outspoken priest has reacted by criticising the move as a "return to censorship", warning that it would give a "bad signal to society."

"The bishops have a right to issue regulations specifying certain matters - canon law clearly establishes this," said the bishops' spokesman, Fr Jozef Kloch.

The priest was responding to a report by Poland's Catholic Information Agency, KAI, which said the still-unpublished regulations, cleared by the bishops' conference at last month's Warsaw session, would impose sanctions for clergy making unauthorized press remarks.

Fr Kloch told Catholic News Service that the restrictions had been welcomed after a brief discussion by the bishops and were now awaiting Vatican approval.

However, Jesuit Fr Stanislaw Musial, a leading commentator and essayist, said he would "never agree" to have his media statements checked in advance.

"When someone speaks in the church's name and imparts church teaching, he should follow the judgment of the magisterium," the priest said.

SOURCE
Polish bishops defend regulations that would restrict clergy comments (Catholic News Service)

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3 Nov 2003