The head of Poland's influential Catholic Church Episcopate has appealed for an end to a political conflict that has divided the nation and strained foreign ties.

Poles are divided over the deep changes that the conservative Law and Justice party has been introducing ever since it won presidential and parliamentary elections last year. Some of the moves, like new legislation regulating the Constitutional Tribunal, have drawn massive street protests and international censure. No real steps have been taken to end the conflict.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki said that the "state of tension" in Poland calls for a "national reconciliation." The remarks, made during Thursday's Corpus Christi procession, were posted on the Episcopate's website on Friday.

"Social peace calls for mutual concessions, sometimes even painful," Gadecki said.