Catholic priest convicted of antisemetic hate speech in Poland


Central Europe


Father Michał Woźnicki was sentenced to six months of community service. Photo YouTube

A Mass does not justify antisemitic hate speech, a Polish court confirmed. In a historic trial, a Catholic priest was convicted for this.

According to Father Michał Woźnicki, Jews in the world have assumed the role of a leech, "a tick, a body that lives on the host's body, swells, leading the host's body to death, moving on to the next one." "You have suffered because you have denied Christ the King", he added.

However, the sermon of Woźnicki became the target of an investigation by the Polish prosecutor's office, which accused the priest of "publicly insulting Jews because of their nationality by uttering words commonly considered offensive to them, and inciting hatred based on national differences."

During the trial, Otwarta Rzeczpospolita, a Polish antisemitism association, reported that Woźnicki is the first priest in Poland who faces court for hate speech against Jews."

In early February, the Poznań district court sentenced the priest to six months of unpaid work for social purposes. Each month, the priest has to work 30 hours.

The court says to understand the priest's intentions to call for faith and to return to the bosom of the Church but argues that the statements of the priest should not have been made in the public sphere. "Perhaps these [statements ed.] are not threatening, but this is where escalation sometimes starts."

After leaving the court, the priest said a short prayer in front of the building, reports Polsatnews. A group of his supporters accompanied him.

There, Woźnicki did not seem impressed by the court's verdict. "I am convicted of preaching. But Jesus was tortured on the cross." The priest is said to appeal the verdict.

Woźnicki was expelled from the Salesian congregation in 2018. Proceedings regarding the expulsion of the controversial priest from the clerical state are still ongoing - the decision has not yet been made.



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