COVID-19: Limit of faithful in churches to be increased

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that the number of places in churches available to the faithful will be increased. Until now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic there was a limit of one person per 15 square meters.

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“We really want to ensure that half of the places in churches, as it was a year ago, can be filled,” PM Morawiecki said. The new rules will apply from next week. Details are to be provided by the Health Minister Adam Niedzielski on Thursday.

On Monday, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the head of the Polish Episcopal Conference sent a letter to the PM, in which he expressed his opposition to further restrictions of the right of the faithful to publicly profess and practice their faith.

He added that he was “saddened” by the fact that the restrictions were maintained in churches, while in most areas of social and economic life they were lifted or limited.

“Maintaining such large restrictions can be perceived not only as a kind of discrimination, but as a restriction of religious freedom,” Archbishop Gądecki wrote in his letter.

He emphasised that reducing restrictions on churches and other places of worship to the minimum necessary, which would meet the security requirements sanitary, would prove respect for the constitutional right to religious freedom.

“While expressing my gratitude for the actions taken so far to protect the health and life of Poles, I insist once again on the reduction of restrictions in churches and other places of worship,” the head of the Polish Episcopal Conference appealed to the PM.