Trzy paradoksy regulacji stosunków państwo - Kościół


  • Ewa Łętowska

Słowa kluczowe:

Catholic Church, integrism, relations between the State and the Church, freedom of conscience, human rights


After the year 1988 it was hoped that law (legislation, the Constitution, the concordat, assuring compensation to the Church for the lost property) will lead to an amicable separation of the spheres of actions and cooperation between the State and the Catholic Church in Poland. It has not happened. The secular character of the State is being contested and questioned. This article illustrates these maximalist aspirations of the Church. It concentrates on the three paradoxes of the regulation of relations between the State and the Church. First, there is no clear concept of separation of powers and guarantees of keeping such a separation. In its place a system of mechanisms of communication and making (in a not defined future) negotiated decisions was created. Instead of law that would stabilise the situation, a fluctuating mechanism was established, which depends on the current political power of the political partners and their negotiating potential. And democracy is short of breath. Its rhythm is regulated by elections, and this establishes the horizon of competences and the willingness to act by the public officials. The Church has time, patience and ideologically motivated representatives. It also has experience in employing changing tactics for achieving not changing strategic aims. Therefore, and this is the second paradox, the contracts, negotiations – instruments that are seemingly democratic and conciliary – in situation of unequal bargaining power serve the stronger party – in this case – the Church. Universalistic demands are made by catholic integrists in the name of protecting the freedom of conscience of humans. However, this freedom is not interpreted in the spirit of “live and let the others live” but “live the way I want it”. This way, a protective shield is used as a weapon by the Church, which perceives itself as the exclusive depositary of the freedom of conscience, expressed in subjective categories understood as human rights and understands it as universal freedom of humans, irrespective of their believes. And this is the third paradox.