Polish Catholics have launched a petition calling on their bishops to stop their attacks and lies on the LGBTQ+ community.

The petition came as veterans of the World War II Warsaw Uprising blasted the archbishop who during a commemorative Mass for Uprising victims earlier this month called the LGBTQ+ movement a “rainbow disease”.


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Driving the news

In their petition on change.org, the Polish faithful respectful of the LGBTQ+ movement note their “growing concern” about the “extremist” homophobic narrative pushed by the country’s ultraconservative Catholic hierarchy.

The harsh and deceitful rhetoric, the faithful note, seems to have intensified since the publication of an independent report on clergy sex abuse crimes and the premiere of a key documentary on the Church pedophilia crisis.

The timing of the attacks “casts a shadow of doubt” on the intentions of the bishops, the petition continues.

The “fight” the hierarchy has picked with the LGBTQ+ community “appears to be a form of diverting attention from the Church’s internal problems, rather than the genuine care for the moral and social issues”, the petitioners insist.

“This is particularly important from the perspective of… [the] much larger ethical and doctrinal problems that are taking place in our country, which are not given a fraction of attention paid to the allegedly huge problem related to the LGBTQ+ community”, they denounce.

“A disturbing element of this enimity is very often telling half-truths, using understatements or even outright lies and similar measures that seem to violate the eighth commandment of the Decalogue”.

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Go deeper

The petition of the Polish faithful to their bishops goes on to relate the sad history of Church attacks on LGBTQ+ people in recent months.

They have been weeks in which “one can see how much the commandment of Love has been neglected”, the petitioners lament.

There is no law in the Church “which would be above the Commandment of Love and which would give us a mandate for hatred and contempt of others”, the faithful recall.

“There is no law that allows us, as Catholics, to seek revenge, to distort the truth, to use Machiavellian tricks or to turn a blind eye to the evil that is being done to other people, even if we hold grudge against them (which we should not) or dislike them or for whatever reason disagree with them”.

“Christ teaches us that we must not close ourselves to anyone”, the petitioners insist.

They remind their bishops that “Christ the Lord has called you as shepherds of all sheep, not just those you like”.

The petitioners also appeal to LGBTQ+ campaigners “to show respect for our values and not allow ambiguous and provocative materials to appear in public space, because this is not conducive to the culture of dialogue, but becomes an excuse to further escalation of the conflict”.

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For the record

Along with the change.org petition, a group of Warsaw Uprising veterans also criticised the Archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jedraszewski, for likening the LGBTQ+ movement to a “rainbow plague” at an Uprising commemorative Mass.

“We do not know how many people there were – among our friends – whom the Creator gave the characteristics called LGBT”, the veterans responded to Jedraszewski.

“We only know that they were among us, who fought and died, and they deserve remembrance, respect and prayer.

“The message of the Archbishop, to whom we are deeply opposed as Christians and fellow-insurgents, has nothing to do with the Uprising”.

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.