The Polish Bishops have insulted gays and clergy abuse victims.

A spokesman condemned the violence that marred the first-ever Gay Pride Parade in Bialystok. But he insisted being gay is a “mortal sin”.

The Polish Bishops president also accused victims of “exploiting” the sex abuse crisis to destroy the “moral credibility of the Church”.

Driving the news

As France24 reports, some 800 supporters of LGBT rights marched through Bialystok Saturday.

They waved rainbow flags and banners with slogans such as “Love is not a sin”.

But the celebrations were ruined by ultraconservative protesters who threw stones, firecrackers and bottles at the marchers and police.

Catholic and nationalist organisations also staged dozens of counter-demonstrations.

Hundreds of people prayed in front of the cathedral as the LGBT march took place.


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For the record: Polish Bishops insult gays and clergy abuse victims

Polish Bishops’ spokesman Paweł Rytel-Andrianik issued a statement Sunday expressing his “unequivocal disapproval” of the violence.

“Every form of aggression is against the teaching of Jesus Christ. Respect is due to everyone, regardless of their views”, said Rytel-Andrianik.

But the spokesman also echoed the insult to LGBT people from Polish Bishops’ President Stanisław Gądecki in the Catholic weekly Niedziela (“Sunday”).

“For us these people are not primarily gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transsexuals”, said Gądecki, Archbishop of Poznań.

“They are above all our brothers and sisters, for whom Christ gave his life and whom he wants to lead to salvation”.

“In the name of fidelity to our Savior and in the name of love for our sisters and brothers, we must, however, preach the whole Gospel – not avoiding the requirements that it poses, and not stop calling the mortal sin what in fact it is [sic]. If we did not do so, we would rob our neighbors of the truth that they deserve as well”, said Gądecki.

Go deeper

Gądecki’s comments to Niedziela on LGBT people are not the only words of his that have generated controversy. The president of the country’s bishops also insulted clergy sex abuse victims with comments on the sex abuse crisis.

“The subject of pedophilia – not only in Poland, but almost all over the world – has become an easily exploitable topic for attacks on the moral credibility of the Church”, Gądecki told Niedziela.

The church is the last voice in society “that makes no compromises with the current demoralizing currents,” explained the bishop. He lamented that there are “libertarian forces” who wanted to “silence and switch off” this voice.

More on Novena:

Sex abuse crisis “a point of no return” for Polish Church


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