Vatican reins in Poland's clerical free spirits

The Vatican has issued a document imposing discipline upon priests in Poland, some of whom have irritated members hierarchy by ignoring their authority.

Polskie Radio reports that the clergy's public activity now requires a written permission of the bishops that touches upon some "worrying developments" in the Catholic Church in Poland.

A spokesman of the Polish Episcopate, Father Jozef Kloch, said: "This does not mean some kind of a military discipline - it is about internal unity of the church. This text is an instrument designed to help diocese and religious order superiors."

Examples of threats to the unity of the church were presented by Polish bishops during their recent visit to the Vatican. Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, professor of canon law, mentions the activities of two Catholic broadcasters: Radio Maryja and TV Trwam, on which the Polish Episcopate has no say or the controversial priest, Fr Henryk Jankowski, who used to market wine bearing his name and now is opening an institute - again bearing his name, without reference to his superiors.

In 2003, Radio Mryja strongly promoted a referendum vote against Poland joining the EU, despite Pope John Paul II's urging a "yes" vote.

Vatican clamps down on hardline Polish clergy (Polskie Radio)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Radio Maryja

Polish Catholic radio defying Pope and Govt on EU referendum (CathNews 4/6/03)

German bishop withdraws priest's license to teach theology (Catholic News Service 10/1/06)

12 Jan 2006