Relich: Abp Jędraszewski is salt in the eye for liberal media. The history of one persecution

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Relich: Abp Jędraszewski is salt in the eye for liberal media. The history of one persecution
Fot. J. Adamik / Archidiecezja Krakowska

Ever since abp Marek Jędraszewski was nominated the metropolitan bishop in Kraków, he has been attacked from all sides by liberal media. The Archbishop was accused of supporting the Law and Justice party, of discussing political issues that the leftist side does not feel comfortable with, of diminishing the problem of paedophilia in the Church and of misunderstanding the immigration crisis. Apparently, if a representative of the Church wants to speak in a strong and firm voice, he must be prepared for an open attack of his opponents.


The situation surrounding the activity of abp Marek Jędraszewski may serve as a case study here. The Law and Justice party supporter, autocrat, politician, naysayer. This will be the image in the liberal media of every member of Church authorities who wants to openly and ceaselessly preach the Gospel of Christ in its entirety, not only as the foundation of our spiritual life but also as the basis of attitudes that influence the whole social life.


Even before his ingress to the Kraków office, the “Gazeta Wyborcza” newspaper lamented on the election of the bishop, that he does not understand Kraków with its intellectual elite and will hinder the dialogue, and that “we will miss Dziwisz”. They presented in a negative light his uncompromising negation of open Catholicism, black marches, in vitro fertilisation, homosexuality or general secularisation of Europe. His vision of Europe, which he imagines to be entirely Islamic in a dozen years or so, was very negatively received. The goal was achieved - the newspaper readers imagined the new bishop to be a whisperer of reality, whose rule will lead to a “Catholic Dark Age”.


As can be imagined, becoming the head of the Kraków archdiocesy, Jędraszewski also became the  number one “most wanted” for liberal media. He was criticised for installing a mosaic with an image of John Paul II in the papal window. In a protest organised by the “Gazeta Wyborcza” circles, it was claimed that “that was a blow into the message of dialogue” that the window at 3 Franciszkańska Street was supposed to symbolise. “Has the papal window been walled in?” – anonymous lamentations were quoted. It is hard not to agree with Przemysław Harczuk from DoRzeczy, who claimed that “the liberal and leftist elites in Kraków are not able to accept when someone does not obey them”.


Much outrage was caused by the removal from the Curia website of information concerning this year's winners of Tischner's Award. In 2019, the award associated with the Tischner's Days was granted, e.g. to the author of a sermon during the funeral of the tragically deceased Mayor of Gdańsk, Paweł Adamowicz, Father Ludwik Wiśniewski OP, and Mr and Mrs Owsiak – for their activity within the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity. The liberal circles, who hoped the bishop would confirm this year's nominations with his authority, must have been gravely disappointed. With his decision, abp Jędraszewski made it clear that giving an award named after a Catholic priest to persons who opposed the Church activity (removing priests and nuns from the Woodstock Festival by Jerzy Owsiak) would not be approved by him. It is also hard to defend the Dominican father who, with his texts combating by all means the hate speech and supporting Gdańsk authorities, who introduced in-vitro and LGBT agenda into the public space, ideally fits into the progressive and liberal line of thought.


Equally violent was the reaction to the prohibition issued by the Kraków bishop for rev. Kazimierz Sowa to attend an event organised by the Civic Platform party. It is worth asking why this circle, so much concerned about the Church “interfering” with politics, was so resentful to a decision that limited the political activity of a Kraków priest. Are they bothered by the social engagement of abp Jędraszewski or Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, but not of rev. Sowa or bp Pieronek?


Equally ridiculous are the accusations against the Kraków bishop concerning his alleged association with the “good change” Government. Those who claim that he is absolutely devoted to the Law and Justice party should be reminded about what abp Jędraszewski said about the legislative initiative “Stop Abortion”. In his opinion, the Government should immediately proceed with adopting a law that would entirely remove the eugenic principle from the Polish legal system. He criticised any measures to delay this process. “Recently, there has been much appreciation for persons responsible for the political life in our country, that they understand the voice of the citizens and their sensitivity concerning the salaries of senior Government officials, and the more so we can expect from the same persons, responsible for the fate and politics of our country, that they will hear the unanimous voice of the citizens: stop abortion”.


However, a real attack ensued after the Archbishop said that “Christianity has always been persecuted, such as in Australia, where Cardinal Pell has been convicted”. According to the liberal media, the Kraków Archbishop moved dangerously close to the protection of sexual criminals in the Church. Here, it should be noted that indeed, the ex-prefect of the Holy See Secretariat for the Economy was found guilty by the Australian court of paedophilia. However, the fairness of the court proceedings and the surrounding circumstances raise doubts of leading Vatican officials, such as George Weigel.


It turns out that Cardinal. Pell did not have to appear before the court in the first place.

 He had the immunity of a Vatican diplomat, but he decided to participate in the proceedings, so as to be cleared of any accusations. The Australian bishop was convicted for sexually abusing two choir boys in a sacristy, during church celebrations in 1996. Weigel claims that during the first hearing, which was under much pressure from the media, the defence refuted the accusations made by the prosecution on the grounds of defective police investigation. Consequently, the jury almost unanimously (10 votes “for” and 2 votes “against”) declared the Cardinal was not guilty.


The author also quoted the arguments of the defence, which were not taken into account in the proceedings. They highlighted such inaccuracies as the mysterious “disappearance” from the sacristy of the sacristy manager and the master ceremony (which allegedly happened) or the fact that sexual abuse was performed in a room open to anyone, and during the ceremony. The cardinal was supposed to have walked into the sacristy during the Holy mass and abused two boys. He was defended by an Australian Jesuit and famous lawyer, Father Frank Brennan. The latter also highlighted numerous inaccuracies in the Cardinal's indictment, claiming that many of the accusations were unlikely or even impossible.


As if that was not enough, the TVN TV station and “Gazeta Wyborcza” newspaper recently lamented that the bad bishop would not let their reporters into the celebrations of the anniversary of John Paul II's death. Why should anyone be offended by the fact that a person would not want media that attack him to attend a party he organised. But this is the logic of “Gazeta Wyborcza”.   


Apparently, any member of the Church authorities who shows that proclaiming the Gospel is not limited to the private zone but requires an adequate stance in the surrounding reality will trigger a war with supporters of revolutionary marches. For many years, they have been struggling to destroy the foundations of the Western civilisation with the Roman Church in its centre. However, such destruction does not have to involve entire annihilation. For them, it is enough to have the Church enclosed behind the parish gate and leave the public sphere to those who want to shape it the way they wish. The bishop, more and more strongly attacked needs our prayers in the first place. It is very important for his, but also for our sake. Indeed, it is hard to find a good priest these days.


Piotr Relich

DATA: 2019-04-23 11:03
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