Attacks on Christianity and the Church, so inseparably connected throughout history with Poland and Polishness, are aimed not only at weakening the Church’s position in society, but also at weakening the spirit of the nation. “Without Christ – said Saint John Paul II – you can not understand the history of Poland “- recalled Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, Chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, in a June 17 statement on acts of hatred against Catholics in Poland.
“When priest Jacques Hamel was murdered in Normandy in July 2016 during the celebration of Mass. it seemed to us that such things could not happen in Poland (…) Unfortunately, in recent weeks, especially during the election campaign for the European Parliament, there have been many events calling into question my earlier observation” – wrote the President of the Polish Episcopate.
“I am thinking first of all about the desecration of the Jasna Góra image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland. (…) I also think about specific acts of physical assault on churches and priests themselves, such as the attack on Fr. Ireneusz Bakalarczyk [stabbed June 10 during Mass in Wrocław]”- emphasized Archbishop Gądecki.
Gay Pride marches occasions for “obscenity and contempt for Christianity”
He also mentioned the profanities and acts of blasphemy that occur during the so-called ‘Pride’ marches of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people.
“Officially, the reason for the organization of such marches is concern for greater tolerance in society, but they become occasions for obscenity and contempt for Christianity, including parodying the liturgy of the Eucharist, and to incite hatred towards the Church and clerics” – according to the President of the Polish episcopate.
“Today’s way of questioning the authority of the Church is not intellectual but ideological. The Church is put on trial to try and prove that there are no righteous people in her, and that her faith is only hypocrisy. The attacks seek to discredit God and disgrace the whole Church, ” Archbishop Gądecki emphasized.
Sex abuse revelations and attacks on priests linked
The President of the Episcopate in his statement asked a question about “how to reliably report the issue of sexual abuse among clergy and other social groups, not to create a false unflattering image of the Church and not to provoke subsequent acts of verbal and physical violence and acts of profanation.” At the same time, he stressed that “it is hard to ignore the fact that recently – in the context of some media reports – aggression towards priests has increased, as has the number of desecrations”.
Archbishop Gądecki underlined: “The remedy for sexual offences is to preserve the VI Commandment of the Decalogue. So who is close to the fate of the victims of various sexual abuse, should get involved in promoting a culture of purity, as part of a holistic approach”.
At the same time, the Metropolitan of Poznan noted: “Sin and evil are in the Church, but there are also countless witnesses of faithful and humble people who daily give a quiet testimony of their love for Jesus. Just look around a bit, putting prejudice aside”.
Archbishop Gądecki said that the bishops – in their 383th plenary meeting – call for a public propitiation of God for the recent sacrileges, this coming June 23 in all churches and chapels in the country.
(Polish Episcopal Conference)