Are Poles abandoning their religion?

According to a recent study, only 23 percent of Poles between the age of 18 and 25 still practice their religion. In 1992 it was just under 70 percent. In view of the great influence of the Catholic Church on politics, society and the media, as well as other factors, the Polish press speculates on the causes and effects of this decline in religiosity.

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Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Covid and abuse scandals are to blame

Tygodnik Powszechny looks for reasons for the decline in religiousness:

“The first is the impact of information about violent and sexual crimes and the Church's reactions to this on public opinion. These crimes were committed by priests in a Church environment, and the heads of the Church tried to protect the institution at the expense of the injured parties. The second reason, of course, is the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted or weakened many social customs - including participation in religious practices.”

Polityka (PL) /

False sense of security

The Polish Church won't be too worried by the results of the survey for the time being, journalist Joanna Podgórska predicts in Polityka:

“Will the Church leadership see the survey as a final warning and reconsider its stance? Or will they see it as another 'attack on the Church' and entrench themselves all the more in their besieged fortress? Unfortunately, I'd put my money on the latter. The strong support, including financial, from the government no doubt gives it a sense of security. But this security is deceptive. Even in politics, the Church will not remain an influential institution for long without believers.”

Gość Niedzielny (PL) /

Don't adapt too much to the zeitgeist

The Catholic weekly Gość Niedzielny warns against drawing the wrong conclusions from the survey:

“Even if it were better and wiser than it is now, the Church will nonetheless be criticised from outside and within because - as the last hierarchical institution - it does not fit in with today's 'culture without authorities'. ... Certainly, the way in which the authority of the Church (as well as other authorities) is exercised must be adapted to current circumstances. However, this adaptation must not lead us to abandon reliable authorities - or even the very idea of authority. For without a culture of authority there can be no religious sentiment. In an environment where everyone is focused on upholding their own ego, no one will kneel before God.”