21st Oct 2016

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"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.

News in Brief

  1. Canada and Wallonia end talks without Ceta deal
  2. Juncker hopes for Canada accord in 'next few days'
  3. Romania drops opposition to Ceta
  4. Difficulties remain on Ceta deal, says Walloon leader
  5. Brexit could lead to 'some civil unrest' in Northern Ireland
  6. ECB holds rates and continues quantitive easing programme
  7. Support for Danish People's Party drops, poll
  8. Spain's highest court overturns Catalan ban on bullfighting

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFADraft Bill for a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum
  2. UNICEFCalls on European Council to Address Plight of Refugee and Migrant Children
  3. ECTAJoin us on 9-10 November in Brussels and Discover the new EU Digital Landscape
  4. Access NowCan you Hear me now? Verizon’s Opportunity to Stand for Global Users
  5. Belgrade Security ForumMeaningful Dialogue Missing Not Only in the Balkans, but Throughout Europe
  6. EASPDJoin the Trip! 20 Years on the Road. Conference & Photo Exhibition on 19-21 October
  7. EuropecheEU Fishing Sector Celebrates Sustainably Sourced Seafood in EU Parliament
  8. World VisionWomen and Girls Urge EU Leadership to Help end Gender-based Violence
  9. Dialogue PlatformIs Jihadism Blind Spot of Western Intellectuals ? Wednesday 26 October
  10. Belgrade Security ForumGet the Latest News and Updates on the Belgrade Security Forum @BelSecForum
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeMaster Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! Conference 21 November - 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. EJCEU Parliament's Roadmap for Relations with Iran a Massive Missed Opportunity

Latest News

  1. Ceta failure deepens EU trade policy crisis
  2. Poland buttonholes Juncker on Russian pipeline
  3. Dieselgate: German environment officials 'heard only rumours'
  4. Wallonia still refuses to buy the Ceta "cat in a bag"
  5. Women shake Poland's pillars of power
  6. Malta, Latvia, and Hungary top EU obesity charts
  7. British PM asserts her role in EU 'nest of doves'
  8. Italy shields Russia from EU sanctions threat