Poland: Religious groups protest against Madanna-concert



Religious groups protest against Madonna-concert

15 August 2009 the American superstar Madonna is to perform in Warsaw. But this day is also a Catholic holiday of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary, and the concert has upset conservative religious groups in the Polish capital.

They raise protests against her concert, saying this date was set on purpose to provoke, and they want not only the concert cancelled but also to have the organisers punished.

So who are the guilty’? The organisers, that is Warsaw authorities. And the sponsors are the webportal Allegro.pl. They expect over 75,000 Polish citizens to come to Madonna’s concert.

The Unum Principium Association, via its spokesperson Krzysztof Zagozda, calls the event ‘an Anti-Christian provocation’, and the former Polish president and Solidarity union leader Lech Walesa — a devout Catholic — stated that he “supported protests” against the concert.

Janusz Kochanowski, who is a well-known Polish spokesperson for Citizens’ Rights, supports the protesters and claim that unless the concert is cancelled then “religious feelings” will be hurt, and it will be a violation of the Polish criminal law Article 196.

Janusz Kochanowski explained that there are certain bounds of decency which cannot be overstepped in the name of freedom, be it freedom of artistic expression, conscience or religion. Artistic provocation cannot violate constitutional rights and freedom of other people and hurt their religious feelings.

Online protest petition
An online petition to protest against Madonna’s concert mentions that her stage show previously has included a part where she climbs a cross, that she promotes homosexuality and pornography with obscene gestures, that some of her music videos have been banned, that publicity items which are sold at the venue bear blasphemous titles such as ‘Confession’, ‘Like a prayer’, explicitly associated with Catholicism.

The organisation Indeks 73, which defend freedom of artistic creation, reported that according to the website Prawica.net, Marian Brudzynski, the councillor of a local parliament appealed to the mayor of Bemowo, the Warsaw district where the concert is going to take place, and to the Minister of the Interior and Administration to call off the concert.

Another protester is the Catholic priest Stanislaw Malkowski, a former chaplain of Solidarity. He stated that people to blame for this project &rldquo;should be disclosed. The church and the nation should forcely protest: non possumus!” He also called the concert “a profanity” and “blasphemous”.

There is also a protesting committee planning to drown out the concert if it is not called off or moved to another day. However, Bemowo authorities promise the concert will go on as planned.

Indeks 73 commentary
“Everybody’s got a right to express their own beliefs and, for example, consider Madonna’s concert offensive. In a democratic country one can express one’s discontent in many ways: protesters can meet at the mass during the concert, organise a legal demonstration, the priests may encourage worshippers to boycott the concert, but nobody can openly call for censorship – it’s an infringement of Article 73 of the Polish Constitution referring to freedom of artistic expression and free access to cultural goods,” writes Indeks 73 in a commentary on the organisation’s home page.

“We hope the President of Warsaw, Halina Gronkiewicz-Waltz, will take a stand in defence of constitutional rights to freedom of artistic expression and will support pluralism and democracy.”



“This concert
is a profanity
and is

Father Stanislaw Malkowski


Indeks 73 – 27 July 2009:

‘Let’s censor Madonna!’

Protest petition page (in Polish):


Google translation tool:

Translation of the page webpage to English language

Google News – continously updated:

Search: ‘Warsaw’ + ‘Madonna’

Click to make a search on Google News

Go to top
Related reading on freemuse.org