Jan Maria Jackowski

An exhibition has been presented in the Centre of the Modern Art in Warsaw till recently, whose integral part was a film of Jacek Markiewicz 'Adoration of Christ'. In the general opinion of believers, this 'art work' contains blasphemous content, insulting religious feelings of the Catholics. For, it lead to disgracing and profanation of the crucifix - a sign of torment and death of Christ for the Christians, and also the generally human symbol of the human dignity.

Because of another attack against the tradition of the Polish culture, built on the fundament of Christianity, there are many questions. Among the others: how could it happen that the film, hurting the dignity and religious feelings of millions of Poles, was presented in the institution of the culture which belongs to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and is kept by taxes paid mostly by the Catholics, which could have signs of the felony from the art. 196 of the criminal code? What actions were undertaken by the minister of culture and the national heritage towards the people guilty of the existing situation? What actions is the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage going to take, so that in the future contents hurting the dignity and religious feelings of believers would not be presented in the institutions belonging to it? However, the government of Donald Tusk did not publicly react to religious intolerance promoted by the state, breaching the dignity of believers and spreading religious hatred.

Many groups and people of good will decided to act. A group of believers under the leadership of courageous priests undertook an expiatory prayer for the profanation of the crucifix in the Centre of the Modern Art. Archbishop Józef Michalik, the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference, and bishop WiesławMering, the chairman of the Council of the Polish Episcopal Conference for Culture and Cultural Heritage Protection definitely protested. The Warsaw Metropolitan Curia gave a special statement in which it was written, among the others: 'The Metropolitan Curia supports righteous actions of everybody who are trying to prevent it and similar abuses'. As parliamentarians of the Law and Justice party we submitted a notice to procurators about a possibly committed felony and we submitted parliamentary questions and senatorial statements (questions). However, was the Catholic community solidary and courageous in defending the cross? Whereas believers of other religions reacted to it. A Muslim League in the Polish Republic in the name of all believers of Islam gave an unprecedented statement signed by Imam dr. Ali AbiIssa. It was reminded in it that it was not the first case of the blasphemous 'art' in Poland, and it was also written: 'we express our feelings of horror and disgust, as well as fully solidary with the Christians slandered in this way'. Moreover we read in this document that 'believers of Islam express their surprise that this kind of actions in the public space meet with the general social and political permission. It is also astonishing that authors of these disgusting acts often present them proudly with the wide support of cultural and intellectual elites'.

It looks that the Muslims have more respect to the cross than some Catholics - and what is worse - even clergy….


"Niedziela" 50/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: