Polish city calls for grant cut for catechism classes in school


Central Europe


A nun walks with students in the corridor of a primary school. Photo AFP, Attila Kisbenedek

Municipalities should no longer fund Roman Catholic catechism classes. That is what the Polish city Częstochowa requests.

Local authorities say that the costs are too high and that the number of students is declining rapidly, Notes from Poland reports. Currently, public schools in Poland host and fund religious education. However, the classes are taught by people, often priests and nuns, chosen by the Roman Catholic Church. The lessons are optional.

In Częstochowa, the national government pays 70 per cent of the salaries of the religious teachers. The city itself covers the rest. However, most city councillors think the city should stop paying for religious classes. They passed a resolution to that end last week. According to the councillors, the decline in students of religious courses does not result in a “decrease of the costs of organising classes.” The resolution also states that the economic situation is difficult for local governments” and asks for “liquidation of financing religious lessons from the budget of the city.”

According to the city council, the grant cut would not be directed against a particular religion. However, in practice, only Catholic catechism classes will bear the brunt of it.

The current conservative ruling party PiS said they would not consider removing religious classes from the municipal budget. But the city councillors argue that the government should then pay for it.



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