A law recognizing the legal validity of marriages contracted in church, passed earlier this year, took effect in Poland, PAP news agency said. The law, passed on the basis of a Concordat Treaty between Poland and the Vatican, gave marriages performed by clergymen binding legal status identical to that of civil ceremonies conducted at state registry offices. According to laws initially enacted by the now-defunct, officially atheist Communist regime, only civil marriages were recognized as legal. A church wedding following the civil contract was a financial hardship for many young couples, but most opted for it anyway in this predominantly Roman Catholic country. Under the new law, a priest, pastor or rabbi will be obliged to furnish the registry office with a marriage certificate within five days of the ceremony.