AFP: Poles losing faith in once mighty Catholic Church


Once all powerful in Poland, the Catholic Church has been under severe pressure this year — from a series of abuse scandals and a perceived association with the country’s right-wing government.

Negative media reports and documentaries have hurt its image, as has criticism from the Vatican itself.

Some Poles are even beginning to question the legacy of the late Polish pope John Paul II.

A poll published earlier this month found that only 41 percent of Poles have a positive view of the Church, a decline of 16 percentage points since March.

The opinion poll found that nearly half of Poles (47 percent) have a negative view of the Church.

The change “is considerable in such a short space of time,” Katarzyna Zalewska, a sociologist at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, told AFP.

The trend of growing secularisation seen in Poland in recent years “has visibly accelerated”, she said.

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