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Zenit: Roger Kiska writes: Dr. Bogdan Chazan, preeminent in his field and recognized throughout Poland for his medical expertise, was recently fined and fired from his position as director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw, Poland, for refusing to perform an abortion on a child diagnosed with potentially severe brain damage.
KMPH: Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, on Tuesday weighed into an abortion debate that is roiling emotions in the largely Catholic country, saying doctors have to put their obligation to the patient and the law above their religious beliefs.
AP: A Polish appeals court on Monday rejected a complaint by lawmakers that the presence of a Roman Catholic crucifix in parliament violates their right as nonbelievers.
AP: Animal rights activists in Poland have disturbed the start of an Islamic holiday which involves the recently banned slaughter of conscious animals.
Haaretz: A Polish government minister asked Jewish and Muslim representatives to petition the country’s Constitutional Court to sort out conflicting laws that have led to a ban on ritual slaughter.
AP: Lawmakers rejected the divisive issue in a 222-178 vote Friday as 38 members of the ruling Civic Platform party joined the opposition to vote against it.
AP: Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has fired his justice minister, who made comments alleging Germans may be experimenting on Polish embryos from in vitro fertilization procedures
ABC: Poland’s first gay and transgender lawmakers will sit on the front bench in Parliament this week in reaction to hostile remarks by former president Lech Walesa.
LifeSiteNews: In a close vote, Poland’s lower house of parliament (Sejm) has rejected legislation to create same-sex civil partnerships. The Civil Platform bill, supported by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and brought forward by the ruling Civic Platform party, was rejected in the first sitting by 228 to 211.
Europe Online Magazine: Supporters of laws that would allow gay Poles to engage in civil unions said homosexuals in the country had a “right to happiness” as a parliamentary debate on the measure began Thursday.
Religion Clause Blog: According to a report yesterday from Polskie Radio, a trial court in Poland has ruled against 7 members of Parliament from the anti-clerical Palikot’s Movement party who sought to have a cross that hangs in the debating chamber of Parliament removed.
Interview with Mr Piero Tozzim of Defending Freedom Alliance, a defender of life . . . There is something truly ironic and downright perverse that the United States is currently promoting the civilization of death, not only in their area, but also abroad. Meanwhile, in the post-communist countries are reborn movements for the defense of life and the renewal of Christian identity – says Mr Piero Tozzi, American lawyer and defender of life . . .
LifeNews: In Europe, Ireland is a symbol of resistance against abortion. Nevertheless, Ireland is on the point of giving in to the concerted pressure of the Council of Europe and the pro-abortion lobbies.
Wall Street Journal: The court issued an interpretation of an article of Poland’s Civil Code, which states that the surviving partner in a marriage or an informal union assumes the rights of a tenant in a leased apartment.
AP: A top court in Poland said Tuesday that the ritual slaughter of animals by religious groups, including Jews and Muslims, violates the country’s constitution and animal protection laws.
EU Court Rules Poland Must Ensure Doctors Perform Legal Abortions | Wesley J. Smith at National Review
Wesley J. Smith at National Review: A just released European Court of Human Rights ruling appears to require Poland to squash the conscience rights of doctors who do not wish to be complicit in a legal abortion.
Religion Clause Blog: The Guardian reports on an Oct. 29, 2012 decision (full text in Polish) by Poland’s Supreme Court which held that a member of the heavy metal band Behemoth can be prosecuted under Polish Criminal Code Sec. 196 for offending religious sensibilities even if he did not have the “direct intention” of offending believers.
Polskie Radio: According to the [European Court of Human Rights] court, the case presented two violations of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, regarding “the determination of access to lawful abortion”and “the disclosure of the applicants’ personal data.”
LifeSiteNews: Poland’s government unveiled plans on Monday to foot the bill for both married and unmarried women to have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF). This comes despite strong opposition from the country’s Catholic bishops who have threatened to excommunicate politicians who publicly support IVF.
Piero Tozzi at C-FAM: European and American pro-life academics and practitioners gathered late last month at the University of Warsaw for a conference on the “Intellectual Foundations and Legal Means for the Protection of Human Life in the Prenatal Phase.” The event was under the High Honorary Patronage of Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxemburg, the Honorary Patronage by His Highness Paul, Duke of Oldenburg, and Poland’s Minister of Justice, Dr. Jaroslaw Gowin . . . One of the themes explored involved the interplay between domestic law and constitutions protective of life and transnationalist “soft law” norms, which are often cited by abortion activists as requiring abortion liberalization. Nikolas Nikas of the Bioethics Defense Fund introduced a panel on international law which featured Jane Adolphe of Ave Maria University, Stefano Gennarini of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM, publisher of the Friday Fax) and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Piero Tozzi.
Christian Science Monitor: Poland has one of Europe’s strictest abortion policies, but critics say it has only driven the practice underground. Now, parliament is expected to consider a bill that would ease restrictions.
Gay Star News: Poland’s ruling party announced it will put to the vote a draft bill of registered civil partnership for gay and straight couples
LifeSiteNews: The convention redefines gender as a social construct, rather than as a distinction grounded in biology, and suggests violence towards women is systemic with roots in religion and culture.
AP: Polish health officials say they will distribute free condoms to hundreds of thousands of fans attending Euro 2012 as part of a safe sex campaign.
LifeSiteNews: Well over 20,000 demonstrators gathered in downtown Warsaw on Saturday April 21 to protest a decision by Poland’s National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) to deny a new digital broadcast license to a Catholic television station, TV Trwam. A petition in support of the Catholic station has reportedly been signed by over 2 million Poles.
News from The Associated Press: Several popular Polish websites are planning to go dark for an hour Tuesday evening to protest the government’s plan to sign an international copyright treaty.
News from The Associated Press: Poland’s prime minister defended his government’s support for greater integration in the European Union during a lively parliamentary debate Thursday on the country’s relationship with the crisis-ridden bloc.
News from The Associated Press: A new left-wing party in Poland has demanded the removal of a crucifix that hangs in parliament, a move seen by many citizens as a provocative challenge to a cherished symbol in the mainly Catholic country.
News from The Associated Press: A transsexual woman and an openly gay man took seats in Poland’s newly elected parliament Tuesday, historic firsts that reflect profound social change in this traditionally Roman Catholic country.
News from The Associated Press: This year’s Conference of European Rabbis will focus on a range of issues affecting European and global Jewry, including attempts in Europe to ban the Jewish method of religious slaughter of animals.
Religion Clause: The surprise, however, was the third-place showing of a new party, Palikot Movement (Movement of Support), which received 10% of the vote.
TIME: In a country that isn’t known for its progressive politics, male-to-female transsexual Anna Grodzka is proving to be a political trailblazer.
LifeSiteNews.com: After a two and a half year battle, a Warsaw court this month found that Polish pro-life leader Joanna Najfeld was “not guilty” of defamation against the country’s most infamous abortion activist when Najfeld claimed the activist was on the “payroll” of the abortion and contraception industry.
LifeSiteNews.com: A total of 15 lawmakers from Poland’s governing coalition are being threatened with a fine for breaking with the party line and voting in favor of a bill that would have totally banned abortion.
LifeSiteNews.com: According to Bialecka, homosexual activists sent hundreds of e-mail to the medical school demanding the conference be banned from its facilities.
LifeSiteNews.com: An historic Polish bill banning all abortions was rejected on Wednesday afternoon by Poland’s parliament in an excruciatingly close 191-186 vote, with five abstentions. Seventy-eight lawmakers were not present for the vote.
LifeNews.com: he Parliament in Poland has voted down legislation that would strengthen the nation’s existing pro-life laws by instituting a complete ban on abortions in the Catholic eastern European nation.
LifeNews:In Poland, a nation-wide grassroots effort has lead to the proposal of bold, new legislation aimed at removing all exceptions to the country’s abortion laws thus protecting children from the moment of conception.
Boston.com: Poland’s prime minister, whose nation just took over the presidency of the European Union, met with top EU officials Friday to discuss key issues including the financial crisis and immigration.
LifeSiteNews.com: Thursday’s debate on a citizens’ bill to totally ban abortion in Poland saw over 40 Polish parliamentarians from numerous parties take to the floor to support the measure, giving powerful, and often extremely personal statements.
LifeSiteNews.com: A massive grassroots campaign in Poland to implement a total ban on abortion witnessed an important victory Friday as the lower house of the Polish parliament fought off a first round of voting intended to scrap the historic bill.
John Smeaton, SPUC director: A growing list of Polish women journalists are signing an open letter (see press release and letter below) calling for a complete legislative ban on abortion in Poland.
LifeNews.com: Polish sovereignty to limit abortion is under strong political pressure from supranational bodies,” Grégor Puppinck of the European Center for Law and Justice told the Friday Fax. Puppinck was commenting on the recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights on the case R.R. v Poland . . .
Polish Lawmakers Want Ban on Gay Foster Parenting, Resist Civil Unions – Emerging Europe Real Time – WSJ
Wall Street Journal: Polish legislators proposed to ban homosexuals from foster parenting. Poland’s ruling party, often referred to as liberal, gave a nod to this proposal by a conservative senator, and has refused to discuss legislation that would introduce same-sex civil unions.
Toronto Sun: A new research paper has found illegal abortions in Poland generate up to $95 million a year for doctors willing to perform them.
LifeSiteNews: Polish registry offices announced recently that the Ministry of Interior would issue new certificates that will effectively allow homosexual couples to “marry” outside the country; however, gay “marriages” will still not be recognized within Poland.
Winnipeg Free Press: “Wegrzyn apologized on Thursday for the remark, in which he criticized the prospect of marriage among men but said he’d ‘gladly watch’ lesbians. He said he is not homophobic, but conceded that the remark was sexist.”
Christian Science Monitor: “People’s retirement savings are a convenient source of revenue for governments that don’t want to reduce spending or make privatizations. As most pension schemes in Europe are organised by the state, European ministers of finance have a facilitated access to the savings accumulated there, and it is only logical that they try to get a hold of this money for their own ends. In recent weeks I have noted five such attempts: Three situations concern private personal savings; two others refer to national funds.”
New York Times: “95 percent of Poles identify themselves as Catholic, but only 41 percent attend Sunday Mass regularly. In the big cities of Warsaw and Krakow, only about 20 percent attend Mass regularly on Sundays, according to the Institute of Statistics of the Church. Supporters of the church also said that the numbers dropped far below the 41 percent when it came to accepting moral mandates about issues like divorce and in vitro fertilization, both of which the church opposes and a majority of people appear to support . . . ”
Gay City News: “In an historic first for the country considered the most Catholic in Europe, Krystian Legierski became Poland’s first openly gay elected official when he was elected to Warsaw’s City Council in country-wide municipal elections on November 21.”
The Christian Century: “A European Union commissioner has rejected claims by a Polish government minister that her country’s Roman Catholic schools can refuse to employ gay and lesbian teachers . . . ‘Organizations whose ethos is based on religion or belief are allowed to take a person’s religion or belief into account, where necessary, when recruiting personnel, and to require their personnel to show loyalty to that ethos,’ said Reding. ‘It is made clear, however, that any difference in treatment should not justify discrimination on grounds other than of religion or belief.’”
EU Observer: “A split in the Polish Law and Justice party, the British Conservative Party’s main ally in the European Parliament, risks further diminishing London’s influence in Brussels and causing fresh embarrassment over issues such as homophobia and anti-Semitism.”
CatholicCulture.org: “Poland’s bishops are apparently divided on the appropriate disciplinary treatment for Catholic lawmakers who support a bill that would provide government support for in vitro fertilization.”
Washington Blade: “Michael Guest, former U.S. ambassador to Romania, headed a delegation of about 25 U.S. diplomats during the human rights portion of an annual review conference for the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe. The review conference took place between Sept. 30 and Oct. 8 in Warsaw, Poland.”
Associated Press: “Poland’s influential Roman Catholic church appealed Monday to the country’s politicians to oppose in vitro fertilization, calling the procedure akin to eugenics.” More from LifeSiteNews.
Der Standard [modified Google translation]: “[I]n an interview in the Catholic weekly ‘gosc Niedzielny’, [The Polish Minister for Equality, Elzbieta Radziszewska] declared that a lesbian . . . could not take [a Catholic school] to court if [the school] did not want to employ them. ‘The new law clarifies these situations. Catholic or denominational schools can follow their own values and principles,’ said the Minister.”
The State: “Polish officials quietly moved on Thursday a makeshift memorial cross honoring the late President Lech Kaczynski to the presidential palace chapel, in an attempt to end a lengthy dispute that divided the nation . . . ”
Wall Street Journal / New Europe: “Opposition to Poland’s possible adoption of the euro is growing in the country in reaction to the Greek public finance crisis, with 47% of Poles against the plan, according to the results of a survey conducted in June, Poland’s finance ministry said in a statement Thursday.”
Yahoo (Reuters): “A gay rights group urged the Polish government on Wednesday to withdraw a book authorized for use in secondary schools that it says portrays homosexuality as an illness that can be cured.”
Associated Press: “The pale wood cross about four meters (13 feet) high was erected in front of the presidential palace by Boy and Girl Scouts days after the April plane crash in Russia that killed President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others . . . Now, with a new president installed and the country returning to normal, the question of whether the cross should stay or go has set off wider disputes that underscore the deep divisions between traditional and modern Poles, conservatives and liberals, and even rich and poor.” | Reuters | For more information, see this ADF Alliance Alert compound tag: http://www.alliancealert.org/tag/country-poland+topic-monuments/
LifeSiteNews: “Statistics from the UK’s Department of Health disprove claims made by a Polish abortion lobby group that 10,000 Polish women are coming to Britain to abort their children annually. A researcher for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) says the claims are nothing more than propaganda in a campaign to loosen abortion restrictions in Poland.”
Deutsche Welle: “Supporters of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s Law and Justice Party have remained defiant in their vigil at the site of a cross erected in memory of their late hero – despite calls from church leaders to allow its removal. Those loyal to the former president see him as defender of Polish Roman Catholic values and say that the cross should remain outside the presidential palace in a Warsaw square until a more permanent structure is found for the site.” | AP: Polish leaders try to calm passions over cross
The Independent: “A cross honouring the victims of the plane crash that killed the late Polish president Lech Kaczynski has provoked thousands of protesters to take to the streets to demand its removal . . . Official attempts to move the cross to a church have led to violent clashes between police and Catholic pro-cross demonstrators and mass counter-protests by youthful secularists who insist the emblem must go.”
The Economist: “Among Europe’s historically Catholic lands, France is an outlier. Its leap into modernity took the form of a secular revolution; that differs from places like Ireland or Poland, where church and modern nationhood go together. Things are different again in Bavaria or the southern Netherlands, where the church inspires local pride; or in Spain, where Catholicism is at issue in an ideological war. But in many European places where Catholicism remained all-powerful until say, 1960, the church is losing whatever remains of its grip on society at an accelerating pace. The drop in active adherence to, and knowledge of, Christianity is a long-running and gentle trend; but the hollowing out of church structures—parishes, monasteries, schools, universities, charities—is more dramatic.”
JTA: “The religious books, manuscripts and other documents fell into Russian hands when the previous Lubavitcher rebbe, Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, fled Poland during World War II . . . The Russian government said last year that they do not particularly care about the documents, but that a lawsuit is not the right way to determine ownership and a U.S. court should not have jurisdiction over the case.”
Breitbart (AP): “Protesters shouting ‘Defend the cross!’ scuffled with police Tuesday but managed to prevent Polish officials from moving a cross erected outside the presidential palace in memory of the late President Lech Kaczynski.”
AFP: “Thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and supporters of equal rights for sexual minorities marched in Poland’s capital Saturday in the first annual EuroPride march in Eastern Europe. The colourful parade wound through Warsaw in sweltering heat of close to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), urging the government in conservative and deeply Roman Catholic country to give homosexual partnerships legal status.”
LifeSiteNews: “Pro-life leaders in Poland are dismayed over the outcome of the country’s presidential election on Sunday. The Polish people elected liberal Bronislaw Komorowski to fill the spot left open after the late president Lech Kaczynski perished April 10th in a mysterious plane crash on Russian soil.”
Telegraph: “Mr Komorowski, a mild-mannered former teacher, secured 53.01 per cent of votes compared to 46.99 per cent for his conservative rival Jaroslaw Kaczynski following Sunday’s run-off, sparked by the April plane crash death of the former president. The victory of Mr Komorowski, who as speaker of parliament became acting president after the plane crash, means his liberal Civic Platform party controls both the government – ally Donald Tusk is prime minister – as well as the presidency.”