Removing crosses – forgotten prologue

Marek Jurek

The verdict of the European Court of Human Rights ordering removing crosses from schools makes us revise our national memory. It turns out that in the 1980s the collaborative governments of the Polish People’s Republic did not break human rights but it was the Polish young people defending crosses in schools. According to the doctrine of the European Tribunal the Secret Services and the Polish United Workers’ Party defended human rights by removing crosses. This drastic sentence is not the first act of the Court in Strasburg against the Christian civilisation. It is rather the last alarming signal. The pro-abortion verdict in the action against Poland brought by Mrs Tysiac was of the same character. And so was, of course, the wide jurisdiction supporting the political homosexual movement, rejecting the right to protect one of the most important human rights – public morality. Our country accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in Strasburg 17 years ago. On behalf of the Christian-National Union I appealed to the Parliament to take responsible decisions. Unfortunately, ‘the political class’ was united from the Democratic Left Alliance to the Centre Agreement. A representative of the Democratic Union summarised it best: the surrender of our country to the power of the Strasburg Court was an examination in human rights. The examinations of the Polish Church and the Trade Union ‘Solidarity’ were not sufficient. And the communists did not hide at all that they would use the ratified convention against decommunisation of public life, which the wide anti-vetting jurisdiction of Strasburg has confirmed in our times. Then I asked the non-communist parliamentary majority ‘why we trust international institutions as warranty of our tights more than the institutions of the Republic of Poland, which we elect, control and form, based on the division of the mutually counterbalanced authorities.’ We did not question the principles included in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. I said that ‘we fully accept – treating as an expression of our concepts of the European civilisation, natural law, justice – the catalogue of rights in this convention. We accept them also because this catalogue is presented as the rights, which are to guarantee social order and functioning within common good, guaranteed by the concepts of public security, good manners, etc.’ However, I pointed to the fact that ‘the ideology of human rights is a very extendable ideology; sometimes it can serve protecting particular people and nations but sometimes it can be even a threat to them; since we can see how these rights are interpreted today.’ I warned that we could powerlessly look how the meaning of the approved documents changed. I showed concrete examples, first of all that the right to life, topped in the catalogue, which is not guaranteed (by the Tribunal of Human Rights) but (on the contrary) treated as an internal, facultative matter, etc, at the disposal of the citizens, Parliaments, governments which have ratified this convention.’ Therefore, I appealed for ‘a very detailed, very thorough analysis of the activities and jurisdiction of these institutions; analysis to which extent the ideological norm can deform the control of the literary record of the rights (in the convention).’ Then the Polish Parliament remained silent. When 14 years later the sentence against Poland concerning the matter of Mrs Tysiac was passed, the Prime Minister did not announce any legal actions to strengthen the protection of life against the international pressure. He simply said that we should execute the international decision. Today it is the time to say ‘NO’ to the jurisdiction of the Court that has forgotten that one cannot direct human rights against God, human life and freedom of nations. We should reject the jurisdiction of the Court in Strasburg firmly, peacefully and factually. If nowadays we do no have the authorities that can do that we should give the Republic of Poland such authorities that will truly defend people and their real rights. Twenty years of freedom is a sufficient period to have a real return to normality – normality of Christian civilisation.

"Niedziela" 48/2009

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: