Lightning strikes near the church in the Polish town of Laziska Gorne. © Wirestock Images (shutterstock)
According to a survey, more than half of the people in Poland believe that the Church plays a negative role in public life. Even among devout Poles, the negative image prevails. Reason were child abuse and cover-up.
A broad majority of Poles have given the Catholic Church in their country a bad report card in a survey. 65.7 percent believe the church plays a negative role in public life, according to a survey published Wednesday for the newspaper "Dziennik Gazeta Prawna" and Radio RMF. Only 27.4 percent rate role as positive. The remaining respondents did not dare to make a judgment.
The picture is somewhat different among Poles who regularly practice their faith. 50 percent of them rate the role of the Catholic Church in public life negatively, while 48 percent rate it positively. Particularly many voters of the national conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) are satisfied with the church, namely 69 percent.
"Deep crisis" of the Church
Political scientist Antoni Dudek spoke to the newspaper of a "deep crisis" in the Church. This crisis, he said, has grown over the years. As reasons for this, he cited cover-ups of involvement with the former communist secret service, cases of child sexual abuse, lack of modesty on the part of clergy, and connections of priests with the ruling PiS party.
The institute United Surveys questioned altogether 1.000 Poland. Nearly 90 percent of the country's citizens belong to the Catholic Church, according to the state statistics office.