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Large fine for parish priest for illegal tree felling. Unofficially: he has to pay PLN 200,000

The parish priest in the village of Gieczynek, located in the Greater Poland voivodship, decided to illegally cut down trees near the church. These included oak trees, the oldest of which was as old as 150 years and had the characteristics of a natural monument. The matter outraged the local community and gained publicity, and a severe penalty was imposed on the priest

The decades-old trees were said to be in excellent condition. Among them were mature and aged oak trees that the oldest generations of parishioners remembered. For years, the trees had been growing around the Holy Cross church (now a branch church of Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Dzierżążno Wielkie). The original post-evangelical, half-timbered building dates from the second half of the 18th century. on 3 February 1986, the church burned down. A year later, the present building was built on its site

The parish priest initially applied for permission to cut it down and submitted documents to the authorities to this end. One site visit was carried out and another was planned, as the impressive age and condition of the trees did not allow for a quick decision and assessment of the situation. However, the second inspection did not take place because the trees had been removed in the meantime. The clergyman believes that he got verbal permission to cut them down, but an official from the Environment Department does not confirm the man’s words. The clergyman then stated that it was church land and he could do what he wanted with them. He planned to use the harvested wood for firewood

The surroundings of the church before the felling. Photo: Google Maps


His decision caused an outcry from the villagers, who publicised the matter and put acorns in the Sunday tray to express their displeasure. The priest felt offended by the whole affair and feels aggrieved by parishioners who, in his view, reacted inappropriately to his felling of trees in the area around the church and raised a “village uproar”. The priest, however, showed remorse and at one Mass apologised to the parishioners for the “confusion”, but a week later said that it was the parishioners who should apologise to him. The apology, however, did not take place. The clergyman has appealed against the fine, which, according to an unofficial source, amounts to as much as PLN 200,000. The public prosecutor’s office is to be notified of the arbitrary felling. The case will also be dealt with by the Koszalin Bishop’s Curia

Source: asta24.pl, epoznan.pl

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Topic: large fine for parish priest for felling trees. Unofficially: the priest has to pay 200 thousand zlotys

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