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Szymon Hołownia about the cross in the Sejm, religion in schools, the Church Fund and the separation of church and state

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The Church Fund should be abolished and the bishop will no longer be able to decide how many religion classes in a given school are financed by the state, said the Marshal of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia, in a special episode of the “Women’s Choice” podcast. In a conversation with Arleta Zalewska and Aleksandra Pawlicka, the politician referred to the presence of a cross in the Sejm meeting room.

The guest of a special episode of the podcast “Women’s Choice” by Arleta Zalewska and Aleksandra Pawlicka on TVN24 GO was the Speaker of the Sejm, Szymon Hołownia.

In the program, he was asked, among other things, whether the cross should disappear from the Sejm meeting room. “I don’t have that belief,” he replied.

– I don’t have any problem with it. He has somehow become a part of the landscape of the Sejm and I know that he is important to many people. You should always consider the moment when you hang such symbols and coordinate them carefully. However, removing these symbols later is much more difficult, causes much greater division, and hurts many people. We probably already have enough wounds and enough divisions that we should now add to it, said Hołownia.

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He emphasized that “the cross in the Sejm hall does not bother him.” – No one has ever told me that he is bothered by him, so maybe this is our way of showing respect to each other, at least as best as we can, he added.

The cross in the plenary chamber of the SejmMateusz Włodarczyk / Forum

“The connections between the state and the Catholic Church are embarrassing for both sides. They are wrong. It has gone too far.”

When asked about the separation of Church and state, which was one of the points of the Poland 2050 election campaign, Hołownia explained that his party “speaks very precisely and clearly about the institutional Church.”

– The connections between the state and the Catholic Church are embarrassing for both sides. They are bad. This has gone too far and that is why I have been speaking so strongly about it from the very beginning, said the Speaker of the Sejm.

He noted that “the liquidation of the Church Fund, the regulation of religious teaching, the liquidation of chaplains’ positions where they are completely unnecessary, the regulation of price lists in cemeteries and all things related to the financing of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk’s institution are different things.” As Hołownia pointed out, “this is something different than the issue of the cross.”

He said that the issue of the presence of the cross in the Sejm “is not a matter of the Church, but of faith.” – It’s not a religion, just someone’s faith. The relationship between the state as an institution and the Church as another institution is one thing, and it is another thing to respect the religious beliefs of this or that person who, when he enters this building, does not hang them up – said the Speaker of the Sejm.

Szymon Hołownia in “Women’s Choice”TVN24

Hołownia: the Church Fund should be liquidated

– For ten or fifteen years I have been hearing about the need to terminate the Concordat, and none of the teams has taken up the task of organizing religion classes, and the bishop still has the right to veto when it comes to the number of religion classes to be taught in schools – Hołownia pointed out.

– I would appeal for us to move from the politics of slogans and symbols to the politics of real gestures – he emphasized. – The Church Fund should be liquidated. It should be ensured that the bishop does not decide how many religion classes in a given school are financed by the state. It should be ensured that fifteen-year-olds have the right to decide whether they want to participate in these religious classes or not. All state financing for propaganda, party and camouflaged activities carried out by various types of media related to clergy should be stopped – said Szymon Hołownia.


– This needs to be done, and not talking all the time about whether we need another war that would last half a year and would make everyone bleed for the removal of the cross – he said.

Marshal of the Sejm on religion classes in schools

When asked what he thought of the idea proposed by the new one Minister of Education Barbara Nowacka, the idea of ​​​​limiting religion classes to one hour paid from the state budgetHołownia said that “decisions on this matter – how many religion lessons – should be made by the school community, not any minister or bishop.”

Barbara Nowacka PAP/Szymon Pulcyn

– I wouldn’t throw the new minister’s proposal off the table immediately. I would like to count it and see how it works – said the Speaker of the Sejm. He said that “something must be done about it, because it cannot look like this: the state will pay for empty miles or the bishop will block it.” As he noted, “it needs to be rationalized.”

– There are schools where children and parents want religious lessons, so here you go. But there are also schools where there is no such interest – said Hołownia.

– In my opinion, religion classes should not be included in the average – he added. He emphasized that the issue of religion lessons will definitely be consulted at the club level.

Main photo source: Mateusz Włodarczyk / Forum

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