Members of Poland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have called on homophobic Archbishop of Krakow Marek Jedraszewski to resign after the prelate affirmed that Poland is under siege from an LGBT+ “rainbow plague”.
Driving the news
Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday in front of the Holy See embassy, or nunciature, in the Polish capital Warsaw demanding Jedraszewski’s ouster, as AFP reports.
“Shame!” and “Resign!”, the demonstrators chanted, waving LGBT+ rainbow flags.
The protesters also held up banners with slogans such as “The Black Plague — pedophilia in the Church”.
The big picture
In a sermon at a Mass August 1 marking the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, Jedraszewski compared the LGBT+ rights movement with the communist domination of Poland after World War II.
“The red plague no longer runs on our land,” the Archbishop of Krakow said, referring to communism.
“But a new plague has emerged, neo-Marxist, that wants to seize our souls, hearts and spirits. A plague that is not red but rainbow”.
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Rally organiser Aleks Polak told AFP that the homophobia of Polish Church officials, along with their cover-ups and denials of the Church’s clerical sex abuse crisis, is driving young men away from the priesthood.
“Last year, there wasn’t a single candidate to join a seminary in the diocese of Warmia-Mazury,” in the north of Poland, Polak lamented.
“It’s time for the Polish Church to change,” said Ignacy Dudkiewicz, chief editor of Kontakt, a Catholic website.
Law professor Monika Platek added to AFP that Jedraszewski’s sermon was in breach of a number of different clauses of Poland’s criminal code.
For the record
But despite the protests in Warsaw, Polish Bishops’ President Stanislaw Gadecki doubled down on the episcopate’s anti-LGBT+ stance in a statement Thursday, denouncing an LGBT+ “offensive” and what he called a “a significant increase in the number of so-called pride marches”.
Though “people belonging to milieus of the so-called sexual minorities are our brothers and sisters for whom Christ gave his life and whom He wants also to be saved”, said Gadecki, “respect for specified individuals cannot… lead to the acceptance of an ideology that aims to revolutionize social customs and interpersonal relationships”.
Gadecki, who is also Archbishop of Poznan, warned of the “far-reaching plans” of the LGBT+ community to work towards same-sex marriage and adoption.
Referring to the controversy around Archbishop of Krakow Jedraszewski, and to furniture chain IKEA’s firing of a Catholic employee who expressed strong homophobic sentiments, Gadecki said an “ideological totalitarianism” is taking root around the LGBT+ rights movement that consists “in removing people who think differently outside the sphere of freedom”.
“I appeal to all people of good will to apply the principle of non-discrimination in public discussion not only to the supporters of the mentioned ideology, but also to allow its opponents on equal rights to debate”, concluded Gadecki.
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