Thousands of Poles demonstrated today in defense of the good name of former Pope John Paul II, who was recently accused of covering up pedophile crimes while he was an archbishop, AFP and Reuters reported.
On horseback, in period costumes, or simply with the Vatican flag in yellow and white or the Polish flag in white and red, several tens of thousands of Poles flocked to Warsaw to take part in a National March for the Pope, who died in April 2005. , an AFP journalist reported.
Like all other such initiatives, this march was organized by Catholic organizations with the open support of the government and the ruling nationalist populist Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak also took part in the procession.
Just as every honest person protects his children, his father and mother, so every Pole protects Pope John Paul II, read one of the placards carried by participants in the march.
The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, wrote on Twitter that the Poles are passing the test by being bearers of the truth to oppose lies, slander and insults.
We thank God for the immeasurable gift that the Polish Pope was and remains to the Church, to Poland and to the world, stressed PiS chairman Jarosław Kaczynski in a letter to his party members.
We are standing up to protect his honor and good name, Kaczynski said a few months before the parliamentary elections in Poland.
On the same day, a statue of John Paul II was vandalized in central Poland’s Lodz – the figure’s hands were painted red, and the monument’s base was inscribed with “Maxima Cupa” (“The Greatest Guilt”). The text is related to the title of the book by the Dutch correspondent in Warsaw, Eke Overbeek, “The Greatest Guilt. John Paul II Knew”, published recently in Poland.
In this book and in a report on the private television Te Pau En, it is alleged that the future pope covered up cases of pedophilia. This sparked a heated debate in Poland between the executive and the Church on the one hand, and liberals and the left on the other.