July 30, 2016
By Wiktor Szary
KRAKOW, Poland (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged Poland’s Roman Catholic churchmen on Saturday to live more simple lives, focus on those most in need and shun worldly ambitions.
On the fourth day of his trip to Poland for an international gathering of Catholic youth, Francis addressed some 2,000 Polish bishops and priests gathered at a shrine dedicated to the late Pope John Paul, who died in 2005 and was made a saint in 2014.
In the homily of a Mass, he told them not to lead “two-track lives” or to “remain enclosed, out of fear or convenience, within ourselves …”
Archbishop of Krakow Stanislaw Dziwisz, addressing Francis at the end of the Mass, said: “We are not closed within ourselves”.
Some media commentators have accused Polish Church leaders of enjoying a lifestyle protected from the difficulties of Poland’s economic transition from communism to capitalism.
They have also criticized what they see as the Polish Catholic Church’s attempts to influence the conservative government, including supporting its coolness towards migrants for fear that they might dilute Poland’s Christian identity.
“The Church has forged an alliance with the government because, using law, it can exert more control,” Jaroslaw Makowski, one of Poland’s best-known theologians and a frequent critic of the hierarchy, said before the visit.