Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Poland – clerical celibacy

Posted by Fr Mark on September 11, 2009

polandPolish priests want to marry


 25, 2009


Most Polish priests favour an end to celibacy and twelve percent say they are already in a relationship with a woman, a survey has found.The research has dealt a blow to the country’s reputation as a champion of traditional Catholic values, the UK Telegraph reports.

A survey of over 800 priests carried out by Professor Josef Baniak, a sociologist specialising in religious affairs, found that 53 percent would like to have a wife, while 12 percent admitted that they were involved in a relationship. A further 30 percent said that they had had a sexual relationship with a woman.

Professor Baniak concluded from earlier research that the desire to have a relationship and a family was one of the key reasons for priests leaving the priesthood.

His latest research echoes an earlier survey carried out by the Tygodnik Powszechny newspaper. The conservative publication, aimed at Catholic intellectuals, found that as many as 60 percent of priests wanted the right to marry.

Professor Baniak’s survey, however, has come under fire from the Church. Bishop Wojciech Polak, chairman of the Church’s Vocations Council, described it as “full of generalisations”, adding that he found the “conclusions hard to agree with.”


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