As Poland’s Church embraces politics, Catholics depart

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03/03/2021

Katarzyna Lipka is no longer Catholic, and she says that is a political statement. Like most Poles, the 35-year-old has marked life’s milestones in the Church, a beacon of freedom in Communist times. Also like many, she’d been drifting away. In November, after the country’s courts decreed a clampdown on abortion that the bishops had lobbied for, she filed papers to cut loose. “I used to think being passive was enough – I just didn’t take part,” Lipka told Reuters, curled up in an armchair in her apartment. “But I decided to speak up.” For Lipka, abortion is only part of the problem. Her main concern is one many Poles, particularly young people on social media, often complain of: The Church’s increasing reach into other areas of life. “I want – and I think all those who are leaving the Church now want – to voice our objection to what is happening now. To influence politics, our rights,” she said, adding that the Church was being allowed to have too much influence in areas such as politics, state spending and education.

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