The benches at the graves at the cemetery in Brzeziny (Łódź Province) have been standing for years, but are now to be liquidated. The Archdiocese of Łódź, managing the necropolis, emphasizes that the liquidation is required by the regulations. – This is the usual malice of priests who want to take revenge for the fact that the inhabitants openly criticized the greed of priests and the monstrous price of the cemetery – says Sławomir Pawlik, administrator of the group “Stop Cemetery Exploitation”.
We have written many times about the cemetery in Brzeziny on tvn24.pl in recent months. Residents who buried their relatives there complained about the very high costs of burial – In 2019, I buried my father in Brzeziny and spent nearly five thousand zlotys. For the same grave in Koluszki, less than 10 kilometers away, I would pay at least 1.5 thousand – says Sławomir Pawlik.
In 2019, he was so outraged by the stakes imposed by the Archdiocese of Lodz (to which the necropolis belongs) that he opened the group “Stop Cemetery Exploitation”. Together with two other residents, he also sued the curia for unjustifiably overstating the costs of the burial.
– We can say that the empire, i.e. the curia, strikes back. This week, there was an announcement in the cemetery reminding you that nothing should be built outside of the “burial ground”. There is also information that the benches that people put next to the graves of their relatives will be removed, says Pawlik.
The curia’s revenge on the faithful?
He emphasizes that the action of the curia is – in his opinion – revenge on the faithful for having dared to fight the “greed of priests”. – The benches have been standing for years. They allowed them to spend a long time at the graves of their loved ones. Now the curia wants to take it away to show the residents a place in the row. It is very unpleasant and unnecessary – emphasizes the man.
Members of the internet group led by Sławomir Pawlik express themselves in a similar vein:
“It is revenge for the fact that we reminded them of their greed” – writes one of the Internet users.
Forced to “more restrictive”
In the announcement posted on the cemetery fence, we read that the Archdiocese of Łódź does not allow “building the grave beyond the surface of the burial site, placing benches (…) hardening around the burial sites”. Therefore, not only the benches are to be removed, but also the paving stones that were laid by the families around the monument.
Father Paweł Kłys, spokesman of the Łódź Curia, confirms the authenticity of the announcement in an interview with tvn24.pl. It indicates that the regulations in force for years clearly indicate that the buildings around the burial sites may be removed at any time.
– Is this the curia’s revenge for the trials brought by the inhabitants? – we ask. – No, it has nothing to do with – says Father Kłys. He adds that the manager simply has to respect the regulations.
– But before that, no one was disturbed by the benches by the graves for years. Where did the sudden change of position come from? – I do not hide that the recent inspections – including the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection – forced us to more restrictive approach to the applicable regulations – says the spokesman of the curia.
To the statement that the aforementioned regulations were adopted by the Archdiocese of Łódź itself, its spokesman points out that the benches that were being built near the graves were erected in such a way that it made it difficult to move around the cemetery. So will all the benches be removed? The spokesman for the curia points out that he is unable to answer this question.
– The residents are afraid that the pews will disappear only in front of the graves of those residents who complained about the high prices. How will you react to these voices? – we ask. – It’s absurd. Does anyone really imagine that the cemetery manager will mark the graves of those families who are not satisfied with the price of the burial? It’s such an abstraction that I don’t even want to refer to it, said the priest.
Agreement? Not completely
We recently informed on tvn24.pl that the curia she decided to settle with one of the residents who decided that the cost of the burial of a loved one was unjustifiably overstated. The Curia decided to settle and will pay back nearly 90 percent of the amount – that is about PLN 2,400.
However, this – as Father Paweł Kłys tells in an interview with tvn24.pl – does not mean that the Archdiocese of Łódź agrees with other residents who are suing the curia for too high burial costs.
– It does not surprise you that in every cemetery managed by the curia the prices are the same, but only in Brzeziny the inhabitants decided to go to a confrontation with the Archdiocese? – asks the spokesman of the curia.
At the same time, he stipulates that settlements with regard to the remaining claims are not – at least at this stage – planned.
The dispute over the prices at the cemetery in Brzeziny has been going on since 2019
Main photo source: TVN24 Lodz