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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Church clamps down on maverick Polish priests
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¬†The Vatican has issued a document imposing discipline upon some priests in Poland who have been carrying out public activities without consultation with their superiors. The papal nuncio to Poland, archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, has reminded priests that they must obey church laws and their public activities outside their pastoral duties need written approval from their superiors. Father Jozef Kloch, a spokesman for the Polish Bishops said: "This does not mean some kind of military discipline ≠ it is about internal unity of the church. This text is an instrument designed to help diocese and religious order superiors." The activities of the controversial clergy were discussed by Polish bishops during their recent ad limina visit to the Vatican. During the meeting, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, professor of canon law, particularly mentioned two Catholic media outlets headed by a priest: Radio Maryja and TV Trwam, over which the Polish Episcopate has no say. In 2003, the ultra-conservative Radio Maryja strongly promoted a referendum vote against Poland joining the EU, despite Pope John Paul II's urging a "yes" vote. Another priest, Fr Henryk Jankowsk, raised eyebrows when he started selling wine bearing his name. He is now planning to open an institute ≠ again bearing his name - without reference to his superiors. The Vatican's letter is being sent to bishops in dioceses and superiors of religious orders. It is also to be discussed at a plenary meeting of Polish bishops when they meet at the end of this month.
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