What is the Gospel for the poor of Poland?
According to recent reports from the OECD, Poland currently has the third highest rate of child poverty (26%) among OECD members. This despite Poland having the sixth largest economy in the EU. The Polish statistics agency noted that fewer than 3% of rural inhabitants had higher eduction and Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, found in January that a third of Poles ‘lived in poverty’.
An ENI report noted ‘Only a handful of paragraphs were devoted to social and economic problems in a 130-page bishops’ conference report on families in August. In addition poverty issues were not mentioned in a December pastoral letter or in a statement of the Polish bishops’ Pastoral Commission in January.’
Critics of this omission warn of a rift opening up between a wealthy and powerful elite and the ‘working poor’. When the church finds itself caught up in this kind of situation it’s time to re-read the gospels and think carefully about its choice of dining companions and how to introduce them to the host of the meal.