English Section

Polish PM pays respects to murdered Solidarity priest

14.09.2022 21:00
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki laid flowers on Wednesday at the grave of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Roman Catholic priest who was killed in the mid-1980s by communist secret police.
Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984)
Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984)[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

September 14 marked the 75th anniversary of the birth of Father Popiełuszko, who was a chaplain for Poland's Solidarity freedom movement and a beacon of hope following the communist regime’s crackdown on the democratic opposition and the imposition of martial law in the country in December 1981.

In a Facebook post, Morawiecki wrote that he would remember Popiełuszko’s teachings until the end of his life.

He quoted from one of Popiełuszko’s homilies: "We are to tell the truth when others are silent. To express love and respect when others express hate. Keep silent when others are speaking. Pray when others are cursing. Help when others do not want to do it. Forgive when others cannot. Enjoy life when others disregard it."

Morawiecki also recalled the priest’s motto: “Overcome evil with good,” saying it "has never lost its topicality, giving comfort in the difficult years of communism" and continuing "to give people strength today."

Sąd ma raz jeszcze zbadać kwestię umorzenia sprawy prowokacji wobec ks. Jerzego Popiełuszki Solidarity chaplain Jerzy Popiełuszko, pictured in August 1981: “Overcome evil with good.” Photo: IPN

Morawiecki wrote in conclusion: “For the past 38 years I have been wondering what was the power of impact of this modest priest that the communist security services had to resort to murder.”

Father Popiełuszko was abducted on October 19, 1984 by three secret police officers on his way back to Warsaw from the north-central city of Bydgoszcz and subsequently murdered.

In 2010, he was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church and declared a martyr.