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Jezus Chrystus Królem Polski

Reuters reports:

Some Polish lawmakers want to make Jesus the honorary king of their overwhelmingly Catholic country, Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

…Deputy Artur Gorski said some of his colleagues ‘were praying in the parliamentary chapel for (Jesus’) coronation.’

Gorski is a member of the ruling Law and Justice Party; the proposal is backed by the far-right League of Polish Families and the Polish Peasants’ Party:

Wojciech Wierzejski, a top LPR MP, said: “Jesus is a King in the hearts of many Catholics”

Wierzejski was formerly head of the All-Polish Youth, a violent skinhead organisation with unambiguous Neo-Nazi tendencies, as I blogged just recently. He is also notorious for calling for violence against a gay-rights parade:

gay by definition is a coward, so when German politicians get a number of baton-hits, then they will not come again.

Gorski, meanwhile, has a theological background, as noted in Warsaw Voice:

Nasz Dziennik, an eight-page tabloid-format newspaper costing zl.0.70, intends to fill the “Catholic press void.” Artur Górski, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief who graduated from the Catholic Theological Academy, was a journalist for the Polish Press Agency and is a Monarchist Club activist. He describes his newspaper as right-wing Catholic…

Details of the “Monarchist Club” in English are scarce; however, the Polish Wikipedia entry includes subheadings such as “Katolicki tradycjonalizm” and “Antydemokratyzm”. For those who read Polish, Gorski explains his campaign on his website.

The Reuters report adds:

…If the motion becomes law, Jesus would join a Virgin Mary icon that was made honorary queen of Poland in the 17th century after she was believed to have helped turn the tide in a battle with Sweden.

Time magazine explained the circumstances in 1983:

For Poles, the Black Madonna of Czestochowa is far more than an object of Roman Catholic reverence…By legend, the painting is attributed to St. Luke the Evangelist, and was executed on a table top from the house of Mary, Joseph and Jesus in Nazareth.

…The Madonna’s status as an emblem of Polish nationalism dates from Sweden’s invasion of the country in 1655. For 40 days, as the Swedes surrounded the monastery, the monks prayed to the Virgin for deliverance. The siege failed, and the Poles subsequently drove the Swedes out of the country. In gratitude, the reigning Polish monarch, Jan Kazimierz, dedicated his throne and the country to “the Virgin Mary, Queen of Poland.”

The Virgin Mary’s status as Queen of Poland was re-established fifty years ago, and was the subject of anniversary celebrations in August (such as this one in Scotland).

This time, though, the enemy is not the Swedish army, but European secularisation:

“Poland’s deep spirituality may be able to rescue Europe from drowning in a lack of faith and morality,” the authors of the declaration said in their justification of the initiative.

However, the Catholic Church in Poland appears sceptical of this attempt to revive the spirit of Jan Kazimierz:

“Let parliament deal with passing better laws that we need,” Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski said.

“This kind of action, although it may stem from good will, sounds a bit like propaganda,” said bishop Tadeusz Pieronk.

And:

Archbishop Leszek Slawoj Glodz said: “Let bricklayers build apartments, tailors sew dresses, and MPs not interfere in things they do not know anything about.

“MPs should pray and suffer, so that they will be remembered fondly.”

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