There has been a noticeable rise in intolerance and aggression towards Catholicism across Europe, the president of an influential Polish Catholic think tank has warned.
Jerzy Kwaśniewski, the head of the Ordo Iuris legal body, substantiated his remarks by referring to an incident in which German company, Henkel, refused to allow a bishop to bless the opening of a new laundry for the homeless the company had sponsored in Wrocław.
“Henkel misunderstood its role. It’s worth nothing, that during the opening ceremony it was a guest. Even if the company had funded some of the project, a Catholic organization was its initiator and owner,” Kwaśniewski told Polish TV channel, Trwam TV.
Instead, bishop Kiciński was only offered to hold a speech at the event, which he declined and subsequently left the ceremony.
“Since he was forbidden to carry out religious acts, he refused to take part in the ceremony. Owing to the bishop’s stance, a consumer boycott of Henkel was started and propagated throughout Catholic media and environments,” the attorney explained.
Jerzy Kwaśniewski, Ordo Iuris:
Ideologies sold more poorly in Poland than loyalty to the Polish cultural code.
Shortly after the incident, the Saint Brother Albert Aid Association decided to return the funds which Henkel had supplied for the establishment. The head of Henkel Poland, Karolina Szmidt, published a letter of apology to the bishop, but the incident may still threaten the company.
“The company’s head has withdrawn from the anti-religious approach of her employees. According to the ceremony’s participants, however, the decision to forbid the bishop from blessing the laundry was consulted with upper management. This is why it was not merely a mistake made by a single employee, as Henkel is now trying to claim. This is the true image of the company’s anti-religious policy,” Kwaśniewski said.
He hoped that the situation would be a lesson to all companies which were driven by simple business calculations. “Ideologies sold more poorly in Poland than loyalty to the Polish cultural code,” said Kwaćniewski.
“The last two years have shown, that we have been dealing with a growing hatred towards Catholics and aggression towards them,” the attorney warned.
On Sunday, the Board of the Saint Brother Albert Aid Association published a statement in which it informed that it considered the issue of misunderstandings during the laundry’s opening to be closed. “In light of declarations on cooperation in the future, we consider the matter explained and closed. Simultaneously, we inform that the laundry’s blessing will take place at the earliest possible date,” the statement read.