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2000 | 3 | 291-293

Article title

Ochrona cmentarzy w Polsce w świetle przepisów Kościoła rzymskokatolickiego



Title variants

The Protection of Cemeteries in Poland in the Light of the Regulations of the Roman Catholic Church

Languages of publication



The protection of cemeteries in Poland occupies a special place in state and Church law. Particular value is ascribed to the legal regulations and directives of the Roman Catholic Church. The Episcopate of Poland has issued several pertinent documents, especially important being the one from 1987 on The protection of cemeteries ( an Instruction of the Commission of the Episcopate of Poland concerning Church Art). This instruction indicates several aspects prominent for the suitable protection of cemeteries. The regulations in question do not pertain solely to Christian cemeteries, but possess a wider, universal character. Emphasis is placed on the fact that cemeteries and graves are surrounded with particular piety in all cultures in the world, and are an expression and testimony of faith in life after death as well as respect for the deceased. The Church always regarded them as holy places. Moreover, cemeteries are an inexhaustible source of knowledge about life in the past and religion, and a universally accessible chronicle of history. They reflect the culture of a given region, nation, state and historical epoch, and comprise cultural property. This is the reason why it is a moral and legal obligation of all to ensure cemeteries and particular graves care and conservation, which should encompass also historical graves. The practice of pulling down old gravestones and utilising their elements is highly unethical. The Catholic Church also advises concern for the cemeteries and historical gravestones of other religions and nationalities. Proper inventories and care for order and aesthetic qualities are recommended. Modernisation should be conducted with the retention of the sacral and historical character of the cemeteries, and be preceded by projects confirmed by appropriate commissions.






Physical description





  • P. Dobosz, Problemy prawne ochrony zaby tkow cmentarnych w Polsce, „Ochrona Zabytkow” 1998, nr 3, s. 2 1 0 -2 1 7 .
  • Kodeks Prawa Kanonicznego, 1983 (dalej: KPK), kan. 1205-1213 (Miejsca święte), kan. 1240 -1 2 4 3 (Cmentarze).
  • Ochrona cmentarzy (Instrukcja Komisji Episkopatu Polski do spraw Sztuki Kościelnej), 1987, (dalej: Ochrona cmentarzy...), (w:) Dokumenty duszpastersko-liturgiczne Episkopatu Polski (1 9 6 6 - 1993), oprać. ks. C. Krakowiak, ks. L. Adamowicz, Lublin 1994, s. 3 4 3 -3 4 8 ,
  • Normy postępowania w sprawach sztuki kościelnej wydane przez Konferencję Episkopatu Polski 25 I 1973 r., „Currenda” 1974, nr 9 -1 0 , s. 2 0 5 -2 1 1 ;
  • Komisja [Episkopatu] do spraw Sztuki Kościelnej, Wskazania konserwatorskie, (w:) Dokumenty duszpastersko-liturgiczne..., s. 331-341.
  • Konkordat między Stolicą Apostolską i Rzecząpospolitą Polską podpisany w Warszawie dnia 28 lipca 1993 r., Dz. U. z 1998 r., Nr 51, poz. 318.

Document Type

Publication order reference



YADDA identifier

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