Church criticises anti-gay attacks but says being gay is a ‘deadly sin’

Poland’s Bishops’ Conference has condemned violent assaults on a weekend gay rights Equality Parade by nationalists who claimed to be defending their Catholic cathedral.

At the same time the bishops said the Church will continue speaking out against the “deadly sin” of homosexuality.

“Violence and contempt can never be justified or accepted – acts of aggression should face unequivocal disapproval”, the Conference spokesman said.

“In faithfulness to our Saviour, however, and out of love for our brothers and sisters, we must also proclaim the Gospel, without avoiding the demands it imposes or failing to identify a deadly sin”.

The priest was reacting to an Equality Parade by several hundred LGBT campaigners in the eastern city of Bialystok, which was disrupted by a larger group of right-wing counter-protesters, forcing police to use teargas and baton charges.

A Bialystok council leader, Sebastian Lukasiewicz, blamed the city mayor for allowing the Parade, which resulted in police using batons and tear gas against protesters.

He thanked the nationalists for “defending” the city’s cathedral and “identifying with traditional values”.

However, Anna Dryjanska, a gay rights campaigner, said the cathedral had never been in danger and the counter-protesters, who also threw bottles and stones at police, had “only attacked people”.

In Poland LGBT people are often subject to discrimination.

The Church opposed clauses in a 1997 constitution barring discrimination on grounds of ”sexual orientation” and has since rejected repeated requests for a pastoral service for homosexuals.

The church also opposed same sex civil partnerships and backed the exclusion of LGBT staff from Catholic schools.

Before the Equality Parade, Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda told Catholics that LGBT campaigners had “insulted Christian values, profaned sacred symbols and uttered blasphemies against God” during previous rallies.

He called on Catholics to refuse to accept “the depraving of youth” and “the offending of religious feelings with impunity”.


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