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    Persecution of Father Olszewski: A Sign of a Dangerous Trend in Poland

    Father Michał Olszewski’s recent detention and the appalling treatment he faced while in police custody have shocked the Polish public. Father Olszewski was denied basic human necessities such as food, water, and access to the toilet. This incident highlights a growing trend of hostility and injustice that threatens the very fabric of our society.

    During a discussion with editor Katarzyna Gójska on Republika TV, Tomasz Sakiewicz, the editor-in-chief of “Gazeta Polska,” voiced his concerns regarding this troubling situation. Sakiewicz pointed out that there exists a faction in Poland that seems to derive satisfaction from persecuting their perceived enemies, as evidenced by the barbaric treatment of Father Olszewski.

    A Sinister Political Agenda

    Paweł Lisicki, the editor-in-chief of “Do Rzeczy,” also weighed in, noting the irrationality of the actions taken against Father Olszewski. Before his unjust imprisonment, Father Olszewski was primarily engaged in charitable activities, with no significant political involvement. Lisicki identified three potential motives behind this persecution.

    Firstly, he suggested it could be an act of revenge against a randomly chosen representative of the Church. The current ruling coalition, with its radical anti-clerical stance, might be attempting to portray the Church as a threat or an evil entity, thus justifying its actions against Father Olszewski.

    Secondly, Lisicki speculated a political motive: to coerce a confession from the priest. However, he emphasized the absurdity of such an attempt, as there were no substantial accusations against Father Olszewski. At most, the issue pertained to an administrative oversight involving his Foundation’s application for the Justice Fund.

    Lastly, Lisicki proposed that this might be an attempt to intimidate others. By showcasing the harsh treatment of Father Olszewski, the message is clear: defy the current regime, and you will face severe consequences. This tactic harks back to the dark days of communism, drawing disturbing parallels.

    A Call for Moral Responsibility

    Sakiewicz emphasized the moral shift in Poland, where the focus has moved from addressing wrongdoing to inflicting harm on those deemed enemies. He warned that this dangerous trend is fueled by a minority that thrives on vengeance. This group, although not representative of the majority, including the supporters of the Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform) or the radical left, poses a significant threat to societal harmony.

    Sakiewicz underscored the need for the authorities to take a stand and halt this cycle of retribution. He drew a chilling comparison to the Stalinist era, where those who initially supported the persecution of dissidents eventually fell victim to the same oppressive regime. 

    A Cry for Help and Awareness

    In a letter recently revealed by Polish media, the priest described the harrowing conditions he endured after his arrest. He wrote about being deprived of sleep, not being given food for 60 hours, being kept in handcuffs for many hours, and being made a mockery of while stopping at a gas station during his transport to Warsaw by Poland’s Internal Security Agency (ABW). Since his arrest, Father Michał has lost 15 kg. Polish journalist and columnist in Taipei, Hania Shen, urged, “Please pray for Father Michał and PLEASE raise awareness about how Polish authorities are treating this Catholic priest.”

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