On Sunday, during mass at all Polish churches priests read a letter of bishops concerning the protection of unborn life. At St. Anne’s church in Warsaw a group of people stood up in protest and left the building. In response, MP Stanisław Pięta (PiS) has notified the prosecutor’s office.

People at a mass

It seems surprising that only a few people protested

The letter of bishops concerns the protection of unborn life. Polish church points out that in this case the current compromise expressed in the latest act of law is not enough. According to current regulations, abortion is acceptable in three cases. “The life of every person is protected by the fifth commandment of the Decalogue: ‘Thou shalt not kill!’. Therefore, the position of Catholics in this regard is clear and unchanging: the life of every man is to be protected from conception to natural death” – it says in the letter.

The Polish bishops would like the act to be more severe, prohibiting abortion even in such cases where the mother might have cancer (denying her treatment at the same time) or investigating miscarriage.

Protest in church

On Sunday, at St. Anne’s church in Warsaw, when the letter of bishops was being read, a few people stood up and wanted to leave the church. It ended in a verbal fight between the protesters and the faithful.

The protest was organised on Facebook earlier. The person who tried to stop the reading of the letter was Anna Zawadzka, an LGBT activist, in last elections a candidate from the Zjednoczona Lewica (United Left) party.

As a result of the incident, Stanisław Pięta of PiS has filed for criminal prosecution to the Prosecutor’s Office Warsaw Śródmieście.

He invokes Article 195 par. 1 of the Criminal Code – “Whoever maliciously interferes with a public performance of a religious act of a church or other religious association with regulated legal status, is subject to a fine, custody or imprisonment for up to 2 years.”

“Reprehensible behaviour”

In his justification notice the MP states that “An unidentified group of people through loud shouting and provocatively leaving the Church hindered and disrupted the proper conduct of the rite of Mass.”

Stanisław Pięta adds that “this shameful behaviour has been described widely by the media, which also posted information from the Internet portal Facebook about the planned church mass disruption.”

The District Prosecutor’s Office Warsaw Śródmieście has confirmed that the notice of Mr. Pięta had reached them, but as Warsaw Śródmieście is not a proper unit, it will be forwarded to the Public Prosecutor’s Office Warsaw Śródmieście Północ.


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