Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Poland

Catholicism and Sex Shops: The Struggle for Poland’s Soul

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Reuters (India):

At the sound of a bell from the altar, relayed over loud-speakers, about 50,000 people at an open-air mass last month in the Polish capital dropped down to kneel in the street.

It was a powerful symbol of Poland’s deeply felt Roman Catholicism, a reminder of the scenes in the 1980s when, inspired by Polish Pope John Paul II, people prayed in the streets and brought down Communist rule.

But modernity intruded on this recent moment of spiritual contemplation. The size of the crowd meant some worshippers, who arrived late, had to listen to the mass standing outside a sex shop with signs in the window offering “exotic dances”.

Society in Poland is changing and with it, the relationship between the Polish people and the Catholic church.

In this country where, since the end of Communist rule, prime ministers have sought the blessing of the church before making important decisions, Catholicism is losing its influence.

Opinion polls show that the number of people who go to church or pray regularly is in decline.

And now a series of initiatives – on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), ending state subsidies for the church, and homosexuality – is challenging Catholicism’s role at the heart of the state.

“We want to separate the secular state from religion,” said Andrzej Rozenek, a lawmaker with the ultra-liberal Palikot movement. It surprised many by becoming the third biggest party in parliament in an election last year.

“We’re trying to show Poles that there are other values”…

Poland’s ties with Catholicism are rooted deep in history, but were given a fresh intensity by Karol Wojtyla, a clergyman in the city of Krakow before he became Pope John Paul II.

During a visit to his homeland, in 1979, the new pontiff gave a sermon at a mass in Warsaw. Poland was run by an unpopular Communist leadership that crushed dissent.

“May Your Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth,” the pope said in a prayer. He made a dramatic pause, and then added: “The face of this land.”

His message was clear…

Yet people have become less assiduous about their faith. In this, Poland is following the same pattern as countries like Spain and Italy, which grew less religious as they grew richer.

Since 2005 the proportion of Poles who pray every day has fallen from 56 percent to 38 percent…

Despite the profound changes under way in Polish society, Catholicism still runs deep…

The whole piece is here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 17, 2012 at 09:28

Devilish ‘Energy Drink’ Blasphemes the Mass

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In Poland, where things seem to have gotten way bad.

Edit: We got this from an organizer at Polish Facebook group Satanizm nie przejdzie – bojkot produktów Agros Nova, to ban satanic advertisement of an energy drink and its insult to the Mass in Poland of all places. It just goes to show you that things are getting bad all over.

Catholics, Christians, all believers in God! Poland is under an assault of corporate-sponsored satanism in the form of the “Demon Energy Drink” advertisement campaign. Our young are being corrupted with praises of demonic values and occult symbolism. We have to put an end to it! Our page promotes a boycott of all the grocery products of Agros-Nova, a company that makes “Demon Energy Drink” in Poland. The more likes we have, the bigger chance we have to be successful. I urge you to add your “like” to this page [called “Satanism shall not pass – boycott of Agros Nova products“], even if you are not from Poland. This is very important! Satan is attacking the last major Catholic country in Europe. We need to stand up and defend it!

Contact information, here.

We live in dark and evil days…


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 25, 2012 at 09:26

Court Finds Priest Guilty for Ringing Church Bells

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UCA News:

According to recent reports, Fr Andrzej Wrobel, the Catholic parish priest of Lewin, Poland, was sentenced to 30 hours community service yesterday for ‘noise pollution’, because he had disturbed parishioners and local residents by ringing his church bells.

When I first noticed the headlines surrounding this story, which appeared in both the Telegraph and on Polish radio, my immediate reaction was, ‘Oh no, yet another example of the creeping tide of secularism!’ Having read the background to this sorry tale, though, I am beginning to see why the priest in question was dealt with so harshly.

It seems that since his appointment as parish priest of Lewin in 2009, Fr Wrobel took it upon himself to install a high tech automated bell system for the church, which was paid for by his parishioners. The electronic ‘bells’ consisted of chimes and gongs that were set to ring at various points throughout the day – beginning at 5.00am! The system had also been set to play hymns on a daily loop, including one every night at 9.37pm, which was Fr Wrobel’s way of commemorating the death of Blessed John Paul II.

Needless to say, Fr Andrzej Wrobel’s parishioners started to complain once the noise pollution had become unbearable. Those with little children and pets were particularly affected, as it seems the bells made dogs howl and also frightened the town’s toddlers.

In response to the complaints, the priest defiantly added another hymn to his sound system, which was set to play at 1.30am! Having to listen to a hymn at that time of the morning, whilst aware that a set of bells was about to start ringing in just over three hours, I’m surprised that it wasn’t just the town’s dogs that were howling!

Full Story: What do you make of this? A Catholic priest is sentenced to 30 hours community service for ringing his church bells

Source: A Reluctant Sinner


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 13, 2012 at 11:24

Posted in Church

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A Eucharistic Miracle in Poland?

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Poland – Roman Catholics in Poland gathered Sunday for a special Mass celebrating what they see as a miracle: the appearance on a communion wafer of a dark spot that they are convinced is part of the heart of Jesus.

The communion wafer in question developed a brown spot in 2008 after falling on the floor during a Mass in the eastern Polish town of Sokolka. Two medical doctors determined that the spot was heart muscle tissue, church officials have said.

Bialystok Archbishop Edward Ozorowski said during the Mass that in history, the “substance of Christ’s body or blood has become available to the human senses, and this also happened in Sokolka.”

“For God, nothing is impossible,” Ozorowski said.

The dark-spotted wafer was carried aloft in a reliquary by a golden-robed priest in a procession and was put on display in the town’s church of St. Anthony as about 1,000 faithful looked on, according to a report and footage carried by the TV station TVN.

Catholics believe that the bread and wine that priests use during the sacrament of communion — or the Eucharist — are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

The wafer was dropped by a priest celebrating communion in 2008. In accordance with church practice, the priest placed the wafer in water to dissolve it. Several days later a nun found that the wafer had not dissolved completely, and found a red mark on it.

The nun’s discovery sparked huge interest among the faithful in this deeply Roman Catholic country, sparking large numbers to flock to Sokolka. Though some believers consider the object miraculous, the Vatican is still examining the matter and has not yet officially decided whether to declare it a miracle, church spokesman Andrzej Debski said.

A group of rationalists complained about the matter in 2008, and called on authorities to investigate if a murder or other crime was involved if human flesh was indeed found on the wafer. Police say they have no evidence of any crime.

There are some more photos here.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 3, 2011 at 10:09

Polish Singer Acquitted Over Bible-ripping

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Ynet news:

A Polish court has found a singer in a heavy metal band, who tore up the Bible during a performance, not guilty of offending religious sentiments.

The judge ruled last week that the ripping of the holy book by Behemoth frontman Adam Darski could be defined as “artistic expression” consistent with his band’s style.

Darski, who uses the stage name Nergal as the Babylonian god mentioned in the Book of Kings, is a famous figure in his homeland. He ripped the Bible during a concert in northern Poland in 2007 and called on the audience to burn the pages.

He was already acquitted last year, but the prosecutors appealed the verdict.

What a wicked distorted individual.

There’s a video of him performing his evil deed here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 21, 2011 at 21:06

Posted in Culture

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A Salt Cathedral

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Via the Creative Minority Report: An amazing Cathedral made of salt.

Just when you think you have seen it all.

New Advent links to a story about an underground cathedral built entirely of salt by devout Polish salt miners.
Simply astounding!!

It may feel like you are in the middle of a Jules Verne adventure as you descend in to the depths of the world. After a one hundred and fifty meter climb down wooden stairs the visitor to the salt mine will see some amazing sites. About the most astounding in terms of its sheer size and audacity is the Chapel of Saint Kinga. The Polish people have for many centuries been devout Catholics and this was more than just a long term hobby to relieve the boredom
of being underground. This was an act of worship.

Amazingly, even the chandeliers are made of salt. An act of worship indeed.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

August 12, 2011 at 13:34

Posted in Church

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