Court dismisses feminist slander case against archbishop
PR dla Zagranicy
A Wroclaw court has thrown out a case against the head of the Polish Episcopate after a feminist and single mother accused him of blaming broken families and feminists for paedophilia in Poland.
Complainant Malgorzata Marenin (R) at the Wroclaw district court.Photo: PAP/Maciej Kulczynski
Judge Anna Statkiewicz concluded that in such a case, a group of people must be at least “temporarily joined together” in an action.
“In the court's opinion, there is no such instance of this in a group that is simply defined as those who decide to get divorced, together with 'aggressive feminists'.”
Complainant Malgorzata Marenin, who heads an association against stereotyping, told reporters that she now intends to file a joint action against Archbishop Jozef Michalik.
“I'm going to gather together a group of people who felt offended by the archbishop's statements,” she affirmed.
Blame for paedophilia
Marenin, who also works in a regional branch of the liberal Your Movement party, had built her case on a sermon given by Archbishop Michalik at Wroclaw Cathedral on 17 October 2013.
With the Roman Catholic Church embroiled in a paedophilia scandal, Michalik argued that “no one pays attention to the reasons for this behaviour.”
He describing the causes as “pornography, the lack of love between divorcing parents, and the promotion of gender ideology,” as well as “aggressive feminists.”
The archbishop's sermon followed a comment to a journalist that the victims of child abuse by priests were often “searching for love” as they came from broken families.
Nevertheless, Judge Statkiewicz said that “freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential pillars of a democratic society, and one of the conditions for its progress and development.
“This freedom cannot be limited to information and ideas that are favourably received, or regarded as inoffensive or neutral.” (nh)