Thursday, August 19, 2010

Poland’s cross wars

File this under religion poisons everything: Poland’s cross wars revive debate on role of church

A simple wooden cross honouring victims of a plane crash that killed Poland's president in April has spurred demands that the influence of the powerful Roman Catholic Church be pared back to forge a more secular Poland…

…A scout group set a crucifix outside the presidential palace in Warsaw, which turned into a shrine for the victims.

Four months later, the three-meter-high cross is still there, festooned with candles and flowers despite attempts by the state and some clergy to move it to a nearby church. The "cross defenders" stood their ground, squabbling with police.

Poland is examining its own involvement with religion and the role of religion in politics.

The raised voices of the "cross defenders" have led to calls for a more secular state and the elimination of religious symbols from public life.

It sounds like Poland needs a Poles  United for the Separation of Church and State. That and a healthy does of skepticism when it comes to the role of the Catholic church in State affaires.