Sunday

17th Oct 2021

Polish ministers pray for EU not to fall apart

  • Interior of St Anne's church in Warsaw. Sikorski tweeted that the mass was held for 'the spirit of unity in Europe' (Photo: King-of-Herrings)

Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski and fellow government members on Sunday (25 September) prayed at a special mass devoted to EU solidarity amid the financial crisis.

The liturgy, in the church of Wladyslaw z Gielniowa na Ursynowie in Warsaw, was led by Poland's most senior Roman Catholic priest, Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, who urged EU leaders to bear in mind basic EU values, such as solidarity and social justice, while making policy.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"The construction of a European union of countries, people and nations ... can become permanent not on the basis of a joint economy and foreign policy, but mainly on the basis of spiritual unity, common values," he said in his homily.

"I hope that in our societies people's hearts and minds, which see the solution of economic problems differently, find a harmony of understanding, which today becomes a reality in our prayers and worries about a united Europe," he added after the eucharist.

For his part, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the most senior priest in Warsaw, urged "everybody to take part in a great prayer for Europe."

The language of divine intervention is exotic by the standards of secularist EU countries. But it comes amid fears in Poland, where catholic tradition resonates deeply, that the collapse of the euro and the EU would put the country in danger and could even lead to military conflicts.

Meanwhile, Kowalski's endorsement of the Polish EU presidency is likely to pay dividends in upcoming elections on 9 October.

The ruling centre-right Civic Platform party has put its EU chairmanship at the heart of its campaign. The Polish church has in the past backed the more conservative Law and Justice opposition party. But Law and Justice's biggest church allies these days are fringe characters, such as far-right radio-evangelist Tadeusz Rydzyk.

"We commend unto God in our prayers ... the Polish presidency in the EU Council," Kowalczyk said. "It is a great undertaking, challenge and opportunity for our executive powers, and standing beside them, our whole society."

No senior Law and Justice people went to the Civic Platform mass on Sunday. The event was the third of its kind since July.

Poland tests meaning of EU oath on neutrality

The Polish government has told voters that its man in Brussels, Janusz Lewandowski, will help it get more EU money, testing the meaning of the budget commissioner's oath of neutrality.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

News in Brief

  1. Poland legalises refugee pushbacks
  2. Report: China's Xi to snub UK climate summit
  3. Norway killings 'appeared to be' Islamist 'terrorism'
  4. Le Pen vows to 'dismantle' wind-power plants
  5. Slovenia PM tweets antisemitic conspiracy theory
  6. Italy sentences ship captain for Libya pushback
  7. Polish PM and von der Leyen to clash in Brussels next week
  8. MEPs call for improved roaming rules

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. MEPs urge Sassoli to sue EU Commission on rule of law
  2. MEPs seek EU law on bogus anti-media litigation
  3. Africa seeks EU help on global vaccine-waiver
  4. Giant of 20th century European design recognised by EU
  5. Italy on edge as neo-fascists stir violence
  6. Gas-price spike will backfire on industry, energy guru says
  7. Scientists raise alarm on Greenland's ice-sheet loss
  8. EU calls for ban on Arctic oil and gas drilling

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us