Skipping religious lessons? In one Polish town, the Church may know

23rd April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Prosecutors in Gdansk are investigating whether Catholic Church and school officials broke privacy laws by informing parishes which grade school students are not attending religious lessons.

Warsaw -- Playing hooky may not be all that easy in Gdansk, Poland, where the Catholic Church and school officials are under investigation for potentially breaking privacy laws when they informed parishes which grade school students were not attending religious lessons.

The issue rose to national attention when the school chaplain of Gdansk's VI General High School, apparently acting under the instructions of the Gdansk Archdiocese, collected the addresses of grade school students who do not attend religion class in school and sent them to the students’ respective parishes.

According to Radio TOK FM, prosecutors have already interviewed the director of the high school.

“We want to know what procedures the Church uses [to protect data] and what the reason was that this information was transferred,” said prosecutor Renata Klonowska.

The large number of people who had access to the information complicates the investigation into the data leak. Prosecutors are focused on finding the specific point where the leak constituted a criminal offence according to Polish law.

In the meantime, parents of several students have expressed their unhappiness at the events.

The diocese wrote a letter to parents saying that the information collected was necessary for preparation to accept sacraments.


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