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Brzeziny. High funeral costs and a document to be signed in the archdiocese – loyalty

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In Brzeziny (Łódź Voivodship) there is not only a much overpriced funeral price list, but also a “loyalty” to be signed by the relatives of the deceased person. Fees at the local cemetery have been a hot topic for a long time. People began to take cases to court, settlements and refunds of burial costs were made. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is to look into the case. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

After the death of a loved one, arranging every little formality related to burial seems to be an unimaginable effort. Even more when you pay as much as the inhabitants of Brzeziny – at the only cemetery in the city, belonging to the Archdiocese of Łódź.

– My parents were saving for this so-called rainy day. And I will say this: well, it wasn’t enough, those coins weren’t enough. And the last widow’s penny, the widow’s penny was snatched from us by the archdiocese – said one of the inhabitants of Brzeziny.

The last wish of our interlocutor’s father, who died a month ago, was to be buried in a brick grave. In order to implement them, the family paid for the winter allowance, waste generated during the funeral ceremony, renting the chapel, square, digging the grave and preparing the basement for the funeral at the office of the cemetery in Brzeziny. In addition, it cost four thousand zlotys to cover the basement with concrete slabs and cut the roots down. For 700 zlotys, the cemetery services dug up the remains of two people found there, and 850 zlotys cost the priest, churchman and organist. It costs PLN 10,650 – and it’s free of charge for the funeral home.

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Burial fees paid to the office of the cemetery in Brzeziny by one of the residents of the city tvn24

“Lojalka” to be signed in the archdiocese

– Immediately after my father’s death in mid-January, my mother had to go to the Archdiocese of Lodz to get permission to dig the basement. It was only started digging after the permit was brought in, said the inhabitant of Brzeziny.

In order to obtain permission for a brick grave, the widow had to do something else: sign a document that her daughter today simply calls “loyalty”.

A resident of Brzeziny, when asked what was in this letter, replied: “I declare that I have been informed about the costs of burial in a brick grave. I fully accept the amounts set in the price list for a funeral in a brick grave and I will not make any claims as to the fees paid to the cemetery office “.

Lawsuits, settlements and partial refunds

We first reported on high prices at the Brzeziny cemetery four years ago. It was then that Sławomir Pawlik, devastated by the fees for his father’s grave, founded the group “STOP cemetery exploitation” and began appealing to Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś to lower prices. Instead, the archdiocese began giving mourners a pledge that they would not claim future fees.

– This document was invented to discourage people from going to court, because it is known that there are a bit of these lawsuits and the archdiocese is a settlement, because it is a settlement, but it must pay back a certain amount – said Pawlik.

Cemetery in BrzezinyTVN24

Attorney Sebastian Głogowski from the law firm Głogowski & Majewski Adwokaci, who deals with pro bono lawsuits brought by mourners from Brzeziny, said that all cases against the Archdiocese of Lodz that have been brought to court so far have ended with a settlement, i.e. the return of approximately 80 percent of the amount that residents they claimed from the Church.

– The claim is based mainly on the institution of exploitation, i.e. claiming a much overpriced amount for digging a grave, where the market price is much lower. As far as the number is concerned, I think that there are already a dozen or so cases – explained the lawyer.

UOKiK joins the case

The Archdiocese of Lodz, which the editors of the magazine “Polska i Świat” asked for a statement in front of the camera, sent a link to the December statement. “Only families deciding to organize the burial of their loved ones in a brick grave intended for burying more than one person (…) sign (…) a statement that they are informed and aware of the fees resulting from the cemetery price list” – reads an excerpt from the statement of the Curia of Metropolitan Łódź of December 21, 2022.

Cemetery in BrzezinyTVN24

The statement, which the Curia of Lodz gives to sign at the time of mourning, will be analyzed the office of Competition and Consumer Protection. Already today, lawyers emphasize that such a document has no legal force, and those who sign it may fight in court for reimbursement of part of the costs.

– We have provisions in the Civil Code that protect against exploitation a person who is in a difficult situation. We even have provisions in the Penal Code, there is a crime of exploitation – said advocate Krzysztof Witek from the law firm Traple Konarski Podrecki i Wspólnicy.

Author:Maria Mikołajewska, pp//now

Main photo source: TVN24



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