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Fall Into Theocracy #1:
How the Catholic Church is Killing Polish Democracy

Howdy, CVLT Nation! My name is Magda and I’m here to tell you a story about a small country in Europe.  Throughout the next few weeks – thanks to the awesome people at CVLT Nation – I’m going to give you a deep and comprehensive look inside the darkness that is the Polish Catholic Church and its stranglehold on Polish society. Why should you care? Because it might just be the most outrageous violation of democratic standards in the the West today, and you won’t hear about it anywhere else. These things rarely reach the public outside of Poland, and there’s a reason for that: as a member of the European Union, Poland does what it can to maintain the image of a modern, progressive country – when in actuality, it’s still deep in the Middle Ages. It’s about time someone spreads the word of what ridiculous, unbelievable things happen here – in what once was considered the most tolerant and welcoming country on the Old Continent.

Polish Catholicism is considered a separate faith in North America, and rightfully so, for it is probably one of the strangest, most oppressive versions of the Roman belief system in the world. It’s based not around Jesus Christ, as you might think, but around pope John Paul II (who happened to be Polish), and Mary the Mother of God, who here is also known and worshiped as Mary the Queen of Poland. What you must know in order to have appropriate background information is that several centuries ago, Poland established itself as “the last bastion of Catholicism” in Europe. The name came from the Polish kings who effectively stopped Turkish invasions into Europe, preventing the spread of political Islam for a couple hundred years. Ever since then, the Poles have been taking their new “job” extremely seriously. What this means in practice is that the Church gained immeasurable power, both over the common people’s minds and the law-makers and politicians. Fast forward to the XX and XXI centuries, and we arrive at a country in which the bishops’ words have more weight than actual laws do, and atrocities happen on a daily basis because of their arrogance and disregard for the democratic government.

The Physicians’ Declaration of Faith


Pictured above are two stone tablets with “The Physicians’ Declaration of Faith” in six precepts. This declaration was signed by thousands of doctors, and then sanctified in the most important church in Poland. The six precepts read as follows, and the implications are frightening, to say the least:

1. I believe in one God, the creator of the universe.

2. I believe that the human body and life are holy and untouchable, as gifts from God. The body exists under natural law, which was created by God. The moment of conception and death depends only on the will of God.  If a human makes this decision in his place, they are violating the Ten Commandments by performing abortion, euthanasia, prescribing birth control pills. In vitro fertilization is also a direct act against God. 

3. I assume that gender/sex is determined only by genetics/biology and nothing else, and as such is a a gift from God. Only two people joined in matrimony are allowed to use their reproductive organs, which are sacred in the human body.

4. I declare, that the conscience inspired by the Holy Ghost and the teachings of the Church is the only basis of my freedom as a physician, and thus I am free to refuse to perform any procedure that is in conflict with these ethics. 

5. I believe that God’s Law stands above all human laws. Therefore, I believe in opposing the currently enforced anti-human ideologies of modern civilization, and in the necessity of extending my scientific knowledge, but also that of the theology of the human body.

6. I declare that – not forcing these views on anyone – we physicians are entitled to demand these rules be respected by all, and are free to act according to them. 

As you can see, a document like this can be extremely harmful in many ways, if treated seriously. Rest assured – it is. The underlined parts say it all: these Catholic physicians declare that they’re willing to break the law because they think Church laws are more important. They also seem to completely ignore the scientific developments in medicine, such as fluid gender and sexuality, and the fact that psychological gender is proven to be something completely different from biological sex. In a very weird way, they’re also suggesting, that people who aren’t married are not allowed to have sex. They’ve actually taken the time and effort to engrave this sentence in stone. We’re all going to hell, aren’t we? I’m not going to comment on the statements about birth control and artificial impregnation, because they reek of near-impossible stupidity and arrogance. Let me just tell you that there are pharmacies in Poland which do not carry any kind of birth control (not even condoms!), because the owners/managers believe that using such witchcraft is an act against God. Next thing you know, healthcare providers will stop treating people with cancer, because according to precept No. 2, it’s completely up to God whether someone lives or dies.

You might say, so what? People all around the world make up rules for themselves to follow, that doesn’t mean they carry any actual weight. Right? Wrong. This declaration signed by doctors is in accordance with Polish law because of a loophole that was created specifically to allow the existence of such a rule set. The loophole is called “the conscience clause” and it states that a doctor can refuse to perform any procedure if the patient’s life is not at risk. So basically what this means is that if you’re gay, or an atheist, or have pink hair, the doctor can outright refuse to treat you and it would be perfectly legal. The only thing they have to do if they refuse is provide you with contact information of another doctor who will perform the treatment in question. Of course, the physicians who choose to exercise this law don’t give you anything – they just leave you hanging.

I know these words may seem a little dry and you may think that’s after all it’s not such a big deal. The doctors are free people who can choose to believe anything they want, and do their job as they see fit. That would be correct if it wasn’t for the fact that healthcare in Poland is public. In their private practice, every doctor can believe whatever they want, but not if it’s the people’s taxes that pay their salary. When working at a public hospital or clinic, they have to obey the law, because they act as an extension of the state, and there is no state religion (at least not in theory).

Here is an example of how the loophole and the “Declaration of Faith” actually work. This case surfaced a couple of weeks ago and it’s all around the “liberal” Polish media.

Abortion is illegal in Poland, but there are three instances in which it can be performed by court order: when the pregnancy is putting the mother’s life at risk, when it’s the result of rape, and when the fetus is damaged in a way that would make the later born child terminally ill or disabled in any major way. If the court greenlights the abortion, it can be then performed by any gynecologist, if they agree to do it. If they don’t agree, however, they are obligated by law to direct the woman to another doctor who will. Here’s where a certain woman’s tragedy begins…

A woman, let’s call her Angie, put herself and her yet unborn baby in the care of a doctor at a certain hospital in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. During the pregnancy, pre-natal examination of the fetus showed that the baby’s skull has not formed, thus the hydrocephalus will be so severe, that there is no chance the baby would ever survive outside the uterus. Needless to say, the child’s face can’t form completely because the lack of bone underneath the skin. The doctor concluded that the child had zero survival chance, so an abortion was the obvious way to proceed. It could all end there, but in order to actually terminate the pregnancy, he needed his boss’ approval, so Angie went to the hospital’s director, a professor of medicine and former national gynceology advisor, Bogdan Chazan…


Bogdan Chazan, the man who sentenced a woman to bear a dead baby.

After careful consideration, the director concluded that an abortion would not be performed, even though it was the only reasonable thing to do. Having studied all the evidence, he deliberately postponed further examination in order to announce his verdict after it was already too late to legally terminate (22 weeks or less is the deadline for legal abortion, he gave his final statement in the 25th week).  Not only that, but he also refused to direct the woman to another specialist, even though he was required to do that. When questioned, Chazan said that he did all that on purpose, because giving Angie directions would be just like taking part in a cold blooded murder and an act against God and the “Declaration of Faith”. He’s done exactly what everyone critical of the document expected: put himself above national law.  The Mistry of Health is looking into this case, but nothing can be done. It’s too late to help the woman in any way that would be legal.

Isn’t this just a splendid example of what Catholic “morality” can cause if unchecked, in a country where the Church is king? Let me be completely clear about this: the woman in question has been forced to give birth to a baby that will die within minutes after taking its first breath. Can you imagine the psychological trauma? Nobody in their right mind would say that abortion would have been more devastating then giving birth to a child that’s sentenced to die, and then witness that death only minutes later. So this must be the mercy that the Catholics speak so proudly of. Thanks to a set of medieval rules, a woman (and not just her – there are literally hundreds of other cases) will suffer hell on Earth, and nobody will be punished for that, because the Church and their puppet political party will not allow that. Mark my words, this will continue to happen and on a greater scale, too. If you really read through it, the “Declaration” can be interpreted so vastly, I’m actually afraid that if something happens to me on the street and I’m taken to the ER – the doctors there will simply let me die, because I don’t wear a crucifix on my neck. Believe me, it’s possible.

The case is generating enormous amounts of media attention, and because of a very vocal yet small percentage of people outraged by it, and some feminist organizations are also looking into it. On Friday, June 13th, a protest took place in front the Polish parliament. As usual, the Catholics organized a counter-prostest in the inhuman doctor’s defense. The authorities are still in the process of investigating the protocol violations at the hospital in question, but what’s curious is that they’re only checking for eventual formal and paperwork negligence.

The sign reads: "Don't make us give birth to dead children".

The sign reads: “Don’t make us give birth to dead children”.

This is just one example of how the rules and values of democracy are falling apart in the small country of Poland. As a matter of fact, this strange, outrageous case doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the problem, but it’s curious how in the XXI century, in a seemingly Western country, things can be so bad. I have plenty more tales to tell, and I’ll gladly share them in the upcoming episodes.

Link to the official text of the declaration [in Polish]

Written By

Magda Wintar were born and raised in the Central European country of Poland. Being a neutrois musician, novelist, and researcher, they chose to reject the society which constantly discriminated against them and bought their own forest, on the edge of which they now live. Magda spend their days writing, and composing music - the kind of music you need to put your hands in the earth to understand.

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