By JAN CIENSKI 5/13/19 POLITICO EIROPE
In Poland, the Roman Catholic church has more than a purely religious function | Sean Gallup/Getty Images
A documentary exposing child sex abuse in Poland’s Roman Catholic Church has turned religion into a key issue ahead of the European election.
The film, “Tell No One,” showing how abusive priests destroyed the lives of their victims and faced no consequences, has shocked the overwhelmingly Catholic country in which the church is a key political player; released on Saturday evening, it had been viewed more than 8.1 million times on YouTube as of Monday afternoon.
The unflinching look at abuse in the church adds Poland to the list of countries — from the U.S. to Canada, Ireland, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, Chile and more — that have been forced to deal with clergy child sex abuse scandals.
In Poland, where the church has more than a purely religious function — seeing itself as a force that defended the nation during times of oppression, and which now has enormous influence over education, culture, the law and politics — the scandal has quickly taken on a political dimension.
The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has struck a tight alliance with the majority of Polish bishops. Many priests, especially in smaller towns and villages, often openly back the party.
“Who raises a hand against the church, wanting to destroy it, raises a hand against Poland,” Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of PiS and Poland’s de facto ruler, said during an election rally earlier this month. He added: “There is no Poland without the church.”
Church and state
Kaczyński was speaking after a recent speech in Warsaw by Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council and a former Polish prime minister. Tusk had been introduced by Leszek Jażdżewski, a left-wing publicist, who used the occasion to denounce the power of the church in fiery language: “The Catholic Church in Poland, beset by pedophile scandals, engaged in a battle for money and moral influence, has lost the ability to act as the conscience of the nation.”
Jażdżewski was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the government and its media backers. Many opposition politicians scrambled to distance themselves from his words, afraid of angering the church and its followers, although Tusk did not.
ion Day to the blessing of a new fire engine — takes place without the participation of the clergy.
The problem for Law and Justice is that its alliance with the church now risks tarring it with the church’s internal problems.
“I’m not sure the film is a game changer, but it’s certainly not helping PiS,” said Migalski.
Poland – another RC confessional state has overseen widespread sexual abuse of children and vulnerable people.
Lust like Ireland – things looked okay on the outside but there was great rottenness and corruption on the inside.
The old whited sepulchre that Jesus Himself spoke of.
The RC church has been a very dangerous and life destroying place for so many poor victims.
If there were proper justice in the world the Vatican and the RC institution would have been regarded as a “rogue state”.
But of course it is part of the international establishment and every establishment winks at other establishment.
But ordinary people are taking action – by walking away in droves.
The Polish are famous for their Catholicity.
From now on they will walk away too.