A Polish sociologist has urged the Catholic Church to speak out in defence of the poor and marginalised in society.
The call came after statistics showed the former communist country, which now plays a strong economic role in the region, has the highest child poverty rate in the European Union.
"While some problems were inherited from the previous system, the more serious ones have arisen since communism," said Professor Ewa Les, a specialist at Warsaw University's Social Policy Institute.
He noted that the country is devoting the fewest resources to family welfare and support in the European Union.
"Although the church's historic record has been a good one, and it does a lot to help at local level, it isn't using its possibilities to highlight current social hardships. This passivity is a great loss," said Les in an interview with Ecumenical News International.
[With acknowledgements to ENI. Ecumenical News International  is jointly sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Conference of European Churches.]