Amendments to the act on the
relation of the State to the Catholic
Church in the context of the
bilateralism principle

While enacting and amending legal provisions on religiuos issues it is necessary
to comply with the principle of bilateralism, resulting from Article 25 paragraph 4
and 5 of the Constitution. Under those provisions, relations between the Republic
of Poland and the Catholic Church are defi ned by an international agreement with
the Holy See and the laws. However, relations between the Polish state and other
churches and religious associations are determined by the law enacted on the basis
of agreements concluded by the Council of Ministers with their respective representatives.
Recognizing the diff erence in the wording of Article 25 paragraph 4 and
Article 25 paragraph 5 of the Constitution – the Constitutional Court in its ruling
of 2 April 2003, case No. K 13/02 – expressed the belief that „the requirement of
a prior agreement between the Council of Ministers and representatives of the
church shall also apply to the laws regulating the relation of the State to the Catholic
Church”. A similar position was taken up by representatives of law doctrine.
Hence, their postulate that the wording of Article 25 paragraph 4 should be adjusted
so as to standardize the procedure for the laws concerning the Catholic Church with
the procedure regulated in Article 25 paragraph 5 which relate to other churches and
religious associations, is legitimate. Therefore, without the prior agreement of the
Council of Ministers with the representatives of the Catholic Church is not possible
to adopt amendments to the act on the relation of the state to the Church, that
would meet the standards set out in the Constitution and the concordat with the
Holy See. In he current legal status, legal basis of the agreement concluded between
the Council of Ministers and representatives of the Catholic Church in Poland should
be the provisions of Article 25 paragraph 4 in conjunction with Article 25 paragraph
1 and 5 of the Constitution in conjunction with Article 27 of the concordat.

Załączniki:
Pobierz plik (4-2011 Walencik.pdf)4-2011 Walencik.pdf259 kB
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