The Washington Post, one of the world’s most important media outlets, has carried an editorial claiming that the Polish Catholic Church is complicit in an increasingly repressive “authoritarian state” that “brings to mind the darkest years of the 20th century”.
Driving the news
The Post carried online July 31 an editorial originally published on the front page of the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper July 27.
In their commentary, Jaroslaw Kurski and Jerzy Wojcik, deputy editor-in-chief and publisher respectively of Gazeta Wyborcza, denounce the “different forms of exclusion” minority groups in Poland have suffered in recent years.
“Authoritarian power constantly requires new enemies”, Kurski and Wojcik warn.
“The current government of the ruling Law and Justice party has attacked many targets, almost always members of vulnerable minority communities.
“It has stirred up resentment against refugees, protesters, women defending their reproductive rights, ‘Soros-controlled organizations’, young doctors, people with disabilities, schoolteachers and their pupils, Germans, Ukrainians and Jews.
“These groups are being publicly discredited. The authorities strive to deprive them of dignity and in many cases take away their livelihoods”, the journalists denounce.
Context on Novena:
Kurski and Wojcik make mention specifically of the shameful counter-protests at the Equality March in Bialystok July 20, in which “bishops, priests and Law and Justice politicians” egged on violent anti-LGBT+ demonstrators.
“We saw nationalist marches in which bullies with flares and Celtic crosses attacked young girls, kicking them in the head”, the journalists denounce.
“We saw allegedly pious Catholics screaming “f— off,” and we heard church representatives thanking the same people for their ‘patriotic demeanor and defense of Catholic values'”.
More on the homophobia of the Polish Bishops:
The big picture
“Today, the authoritarian power viciously attacks the LGBT+ community. Tomorrow it will find yet another scapegoat”, continue Kurski and Wojcik.
“Supported by fanatics within the clergy, the authoritarian power prides itself in representing the majority, which it defines in terms of ‘healthy’, ‘heterosexual’, ‘Catholic’, ‘patriotic’ and ‘authentic, regular Poles'”.
The journalists Kurski and Wojcik conclude their editorial warning that “the historical analogies are chilling” and that “this situation brings to mind the darkest years of the 20th century”.
Why it matters
Just this Thursday, Archbishop of Krakow Marek Jedraszewski confirmed Kurski and Wojcik’s thesis of the Polish Church’s growing marginalisation of the LGBT+ community, when in a Mass to mark the World War II Warsaw uprising he called the LGBT+ movement a “rainbow plague”.
“The Red Plague no longer threatens our land, but a new plague has emerged, neo-Marxist, which wants to seize our souls, hearts and minds. A plague that is not red but rainbow”, claimed Jedraszewski.
Poland is no longer threatened by a ‘red plague’ but instead by a ‘rainbow plague that wants to conquer our souls, hearts and minds’ and is ‘born of the same spirit’ as Bolshevism, said the Archbishop of Kraków during a homily honouring the Warsaw Uprising https://t.co/lRd208XNL2— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) August 1, 2019
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