"W drodze" on Church

The October issue of the Polish Dominican magazine


Why do we need the Church?

The October issue of the monthly ‘W Drodze’, published by Polish Dominicans in Poznan features a controversial subject: Do we really need the Catholic Church, with its current negative media image and exposure to continuous questioning? Examples of such questions are identified by the Editor-in-Chief Roman Bielecki OP: Why cannot we live together before we get married? Why do I have to suffer? Why the Church does not accept IVF? Why should I attend Mass? Can I pray when I am jogging? Do I really need confession if I did not kill or rob anybody and I am trying to be good? Why is our Parish Priest only interested in collecting money for building his presbytery and why does he drive an expensive car? Why are my priest’s sermons so boring that I fall asleep after two sentences?

Elsewhere, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek points at his brothers in priesthood and does not spare them his criticism: Let us see what happens with the priests who are sent to work in parishes. Some of them say: ‘No, I will not go there, because it is not appropriate for me for this or that reason. For example, because the accomodation provided is too small (...) or because of some other inconvenience .’ It never used to be like this. This is a lack of Evangelical obedience and disregard for the law of the Church. If priests and bishops do not obey the law, why do they expect others to obey? Is the bishop above the faithful? Not at all.

‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ – this uncomfortable saying of St. Cyprian is explained in ‘W Drodze’ by a member of the Augustinian order Fr. Wieslaw Dawidowski. He says that St. Cyprian used this sentence in certain circumstances and it concerns mainly Christians who leave the Church to look for other sources of salvation. Conversely, he argues, others who have never belonged to the Church, can in fact be in it if they are sincerely seeking the truth.

The interview with Adam Szustak OP is also worth recommending. Adam Szustak is trying to cultivate the Dominican tradition of the itinerant preacher. He shares his thoughts on preaching: It is very important for a preacher to share his own weakness. It is not about exhibitionism, but about demonstrating that the priest is not any better than the people he preaches to.

The remaining articles are testimonials, interviews or stories about people of the Church who have found within it a special place for themselves. Tomasz Machała, Editor-in-Chief of the Left-wing portal ‘naTemat’ writes about the strength he draws from every Sunday Eucharist and about difficult questions he would like to ask people of the Church. Marek Magierowski, editor of the conservative ‘Uwazam Rze’ and columnist at ‘W drodze’ writes about what fascinates him in the Church, for example God’s forgiveness. Katarzyna Kolska tells a story about married people who can legally wear Dominican habits as they are members of The Third Dominican Order. Tomasz Dostatni writes about Cardinal Dominik Duka OP from Prague, a friend of Vaclav Havel, who began his life as a priest in secret working in a factory in communist era Czechoslovakia.