After the abortion ban, it could “withdraw the few protections left for victims of domestic violence,” and then LGBT people could follow. “As EU governments have shown financial solidarity during the pandemic, now is the time for them to show political solidarity with the citizens of authoritarian countries and to oppose the erosion of democracy,” EUobserver urges.
The British daily The Guardian described the ban as “a betrayal of democracy”. However, “large-scale protests have turned into a rebellion against an authoritarian government and an overly powerful church. Defying anti-Covid restrictions, farmers, miners and taxi drivers joined the women on the front lines of the protests. A mining union leader said that “a state that assumes the role of supreme arbiter of people’s conscience is heading in the direction of a totalitarian state.”
Shameful, the Guardian says, is that PiS leaders have incited right-wing extremists and football hooligans to attack protesters, saying publicly that churches must be defended “at all costs” and that protesters seek to “destroy Poland and end history.” Polish nation ”. But, “as an EU state, Poland’s values should be debated and negotiated in public, not dictated by clerics and stamped by a court. [constituţională] puppet “, concludes the London newspaper.
Accused for a long time of supporting ultra-conservative power, the Catholic Church in Poland is among the main targets of massive protests against the almost total ban on abortion in a country considered a bastion of Catholicism in Europe, writes AFP.
Defying the pandemic and restrictions across the country, tens of thousands of Poles have been taking to the streets for eight days to protest the Constitutional Court’s decision to ban abortion in cases of serious or irreversible malformations of the fetus.
Many places of worship have been marked with inscriptions accusing the Catholic Church of promoting “women’s hell” and many protesters have demonstrated with placards and launched anti-clerical appeals.
In some places, Sunday liturgies were interrupted by activists entering churches, a situation unprecedented in the country’s modern history, with images viralizing on social media.
These attacks provoked a strong reaction from the government and mobilized far-right groups, self-proclaimed “defenders of the faith”, who were already clashing with protesters.
Conservative President Andrzej Duda condemned “insults to religious sentiments and desecration of places of worship”, while Conservative Justice and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski denounced “attempts to destroy the country as we know it”.
Kaczynski, Morawiecki’s deputy prime minister in charge of national security, called on his supporters to “defend the churches” just before the major protests announced on Friday.
The church “is no longer considered a religious institution, but one that influences politics,” Adam Szostkiewicz, an observer and analyst of ecclesiastical life, told AFP.
According to him, the riots of the last days crown a series of scandals in which the Catholic Church of Poland was involved, among them the accusations of pedophilia, the fight against the “LGBT ideology” or the pursuit of material and political gains.
“Different streams formed this great river (of the revolt),” says Szostkiewicz.
The Polish diocese welcomed “with satisfaction” the decision of the Tribunal, which, in accordance with the wishes of the PiS, restricts the right to abortion only to cases of danger to the mother’s life and to pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
The position of the clergy was received as “a festival of hypocrisy” by the young protesters, according to Szostkiewicz, even though some bishops have since clarified their message or called for “calming the conflict.”
The bishop’s spokesman, Father Leszek Gesiak, told the press that “it is not the Church that has started this war. I didn’t want him. “
Born after the fall of communism in 1989, traveling, knowing liberal and secular democracy, “young people are much more secularized than their parents ‘or grandparents’ generation, often more imbued with European, British or American culture than Polish,” Mikolaj told AFP. Czesnik, director of the Institute of Social Sciences in Warsaw.
“It is a cultural and technological rupture. These young people are simply elsewhere, “he insists.
It is no longer a “JPII generation (no Pope John Paul II)”, but the .JPG “, notes the left-wing newspaper Krytyka polityczna. It is difficult for them to accept the alliance of the state and the altar when the constitution speaks of their “autonomy” and “cooperation.”
According to a recent poll, 66% of Poles disapprove of the Constitutional Court’s verdict, while 69% want a referendum on the right to abortion.
“Staying in the arms drawn by Mr. Kaczynski could mark the complete end of the Church’s authority,” Mr. Szostkiewicz said.
In Poland, whose anti-abortion legislation was already among the most restrictive in Europe, there are fewer than 2,000 legal abortions a year, according to official data.
However, feminist organizations estimate that more than 200,000 abortions are performed illegally or abroad annually.