Declaration of the Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation in Defense of Freedom of Artistic Creation
The Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation protests the recent attack on freedom of speech, artistic expression and art in Poland for religious reasons.
After a long campaign of hatred unleashed in the Catholic right-wing media, the representatives of the “All-Polish Youth” (a nationalist organization) used physical violence against spectators of the play “Curse” by Oliver Frljic at the Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw. They tried to block by force the entrance to the theater and prevent the public from attending the performance. After “Golgotha Picnic” and “Death and the Maiden”, this is another example of the use of street violence in order to limit freedom of speech, expression and conscience. These unacceptable attacks on basic democratic values took place with the incitement and approval of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland and the consent of state authorities.
A model of national identity based on the collusion of Catholic fanaticism with exclusionary nationalism, imposed on Poles by the Church, destroys not only Polish democracy, but also threatens the aspirations of the Polish people to live in a free and modern country, a full member of the family of European nations.
Accusations of blasphemy directed publicly by the Polish episcopate at the creators and performers of the play “Curse” express the growing arrogance of Polish bishops. We remind them that “blasphemy” does not exist in the Polish legal system. It belongs to the infamous Canon law, under which the – most unholy – Inquisition cruelly tortured to death tens of thousands of people in Europe. This law is no longer valid or applied in democratic countries.
Attempts to revive it and to bring back the stake in Poland must evoke the darkest chapter in the history of both humanity and the Church. By trying to restore the blasphemy law, the bishops and their political allies stand in solidarity with the Islamists and their barbaric treatment of “blasphemers” in the countries which they rule.
We strongly oppose this ideological terror in Poland and express our solidarity with its victims. We support the protest in defense of freedom of thought and expression, organized by Citizens Together in Action, which will be held at the entrance to the Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw, 20 Jan Zamoyski Street, on Sunday, April 30th, 2017 at 16:30 hrs.
We urge our fellow citizens to resist the growing wave of Catholic-national oppression.
Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation, 2017-04-27