Is There Still Free Speech in Poland Today?

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The entry of Poland into the European Union was supposed to have ushered in a new era of democracy, tolerance and freedom to the former Soviet Bloc nation. Gone forever was the totalitarian past of Communist regimes.

Such hopes are now apparently premature. The threat of a cultural revolution threatens to impose new laws and customs upon Catholic Poland. Especially targeted is Catholic morality which opposes abortion and same-sex “marriage.”

Fortunately, proponents of this new “morality” have met with numerous setbacks. The first such setback was in the field of abortion. With their new-founded freedom, Polish anti-abortion activists succeeded in rolling back its Soviet era abortion laws, thus earning for Poland the honor of being the only nation in the world to outlaw abortion where it was once legal.

Same-sex “marriage” advocates have met with similar obstacles. In November 2003, a group of ex-communist senators supported by homosexual organizations tried to push through a bill equalizing homosexual unions with traditional marriage with little public debate.

The TFP-inspired Fr. Peter Skarga Association for Christian Culture was among those opposing the measure. It published a public statement in major newspapers and promoted public conferences on the subject. When the public became aware of the bill, it was put on the back burner.

The miniscule homosexual movement has also had problems organizing its pride parades this summer. Both in Krakow and Warsaw, the unpopular marches ended in spectacular failures.

The Fr. Peter Skarga Association for Christian Culture was also active in opposing the parades and affirming Catholic teaching. It did this through raising doctrinal objections. It always employs peaceful and legal means. In Krakow alone, it mailed out over 280,000 protest fliers, asking citizens to exercise their right to free speech by protesting to the city’s mayor. A similar effort followed in Warsaw where over 700,000 flyers were sent out.

In a country where the overwhelming majority of the population is Catholic, it is hardly surprising that people objected to the fact that their cities were being used to promote an immoral lifestyle. The Krakow parade ended amid popular protest. The Warsaw march did not take place at all.

Such obstacles were apparently too much for the homosexual lobby and leftist politicians. On August 9, the Fr. Peter Skarga Association for Christian Culture received a letter from the Polish Post Office saying it would not deliver protest flyers against homosexuality or same-sex unions since these flyers are “too controversial.”

Such a measure calls into question the state of the principles of democracy and freedom of speech in Poland. Protest is part of free speech. However, now it seems that the Polish people do not have the right to be informed about unpopular measures that oppose the Catholic convictions of the majority of the population. It seems incredible the government would resort to totalitarian methods to stop dissent on this most basic issue where all voices need to be heard.

The American TFP is protesting the return of such tactics. It is asking the Prime Minister to free the mails and allow all Poles the right to protest and affirm their Faith.

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