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Photo by Polish American Congress


President Frank Milewski of the Polish American Congress Downstate New York Division shows Consul General of Poland Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka a copy of the statement New York’s .

Polish American community asked him to present expressing its concerns about new restrictions on Catholic television in Poland.  The meeting took place at the Consular offices in midtown Manhattan.



New York, N.Y. .. Under the leadership of New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made it clear American Catholics will not sit

quietly while the new Healthcare bill orders the Church to do things that conflict with its religious beliefs.


Some feel the legislation violates the U.S. Constitution.  Others despondently call it a “war” on religion. 


If “war” is the correct word to use, New York’s Polish American community has just

been shocked by the disturbing news such a war is escalating internationally and is now being waged in one of the least expected places in the world.  They never thought that place would be Poland, Europe’s most Catholic country and the homeland of the late Pope John Paul II. 


The Conference of Polish Bishops, just like the American Bishops, also found it

necessary to declare their concerns about a government move reducing the Church’s ability to communicate its message through television. 


As the country modernizes its television system into digital transmission, Poland’s

equivalent of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) denied a license to

the Catholic television station TRWM.  “Many elderly viewers and shut-ins whose

only way to participate in mass, prayers and other devotions is through TV will be

hurt,” said one Brooklyn priest.


As it did in the 1980’s when the Polish American Congress organized anti-Communist demonstrations on the streets of New York City to support Lech Walesa and the workers of the Solidarity trade union, New York’s Polish Americans turned to the Congress once again.  They wanted the organization’s help in carrying their message of disapproval of the discrimination they believe is directed against the Catholic Church in their former homeland. 


“For those of us Americans who identify with Poland through the ancestry of our

immigrant parents or grandparents, this refusal appears to be nothing more than an arbitrary attempt to block the right of the Catholic Church to communicate its

message, “wrote Frank Milewski in the official statement he personally presented

to Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, Consul General of the Republic of Poland, at the

Consular offices in mid-town Manhattan.


“It is wrong to do it and it damages the reputation of Poland,” added Mr. Milewski

who also heads the Komisja Obrony Dobrego Imienia Polskiego (Anti-Bigotry

Committee).  “We urge you not to disregard the concerns of New York’s Polonia

and allow the Catholic Church the freedom of religious expression to which it is



Milewski asked the Consul General to pass the statement on to Warsaw because it

summarizes a point of view which comes “not only from our members but also

from many other Poles in our area.”