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Poland lashes out at Germany after court orders penalties for priest who called gay Catholics ‘parasites’

Emma Powys Maurice August 1, 2021
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Poland Dariusz Oko

Dariusz Oko pictured in Krakow, Poland, in 2019 (Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty)

The Polish government has accused Germany’s justice system of “anti-freedom tendencies” for fining a priest who described gay Catholic clergymen as “parasites”.

Speaking to German news agency DPA on Sunday (1 August), Poland’s deputy minister of justice, Marcin Romanowski, announced that the government in Warsaw would be bringing charges against the German judiciary for putting freedom of expression at risk.

The threat was prompted by a Cologne court ruling against Polish priest Dariusz Oko, whose extreme anti-LGBT+ views were published in the German magazine Theologisches earlier this year.

Oko’s article, “On the Need to Limit Homosexual Cliques in the Church,” was an excerpt from his book The Lavender Mafia, a broadside about alleged homosexual influence in the Vatican.

In it he called gay men in the Catholic clergy a “cancerous ulcer”, a “parasite colony”, and characterised LGBT+ rights as “homo heresy,” Politico reports.

Munich priest Wolfgang F Rothe filed a legal complaint against Oko, accusing him of inciting hatred against part of the population and attacking the human dignity of others.

The case led to the Cologne District Court ruling the theologian’s words were indeed an incitement of hatred against the LGBT+ community and issuing a penalty order for sedition.

Oko was ordered to pay a €4,800 fine or face 120 days under arrest. He appealed the ruling, according to a court spokesperson, meaning the case will likely to go to trial.

Poland claims Germany’s ruling is a ‘threat to European standards’

The Polish government has since leapt to Oko’s defence, with minister Romanowski claiming he saw “anti-freedom tendencies in the German legal protection system”.

“The imposition of penalties for scientific activities represents a threat to fundamental freedoms and European standards,” he added on Sunday.

Oko is also defended by the extremist Catholic think-tank Ordo Iuris, a “driving force” behind campaigns to undermine human rights and gender equality in Poland, including the infamous “LGBT-free” zones.

In a statement, Ordo Iuris said the article represented Oko’s opinion and was intended to “initiate an academic discussion”.

The group has launched a petition to German chancellor Angela Merkel for “the protection of academic freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience”.

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