Friday, 20 July 2012

Poland: Bishops, Pro-Family Organizations Resist Redefinition of Gender

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The Council of Europe convention is attempting to redefine “gender” to mean "the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men.” But the bishops of Poland, joined by a number of pro-life and pro-family groups in Europe, are pushing the Polish government not to ratify the convention. 

In a statement issued last week, the Presidium of the Polish Episcopal Conference stated that it:

notes with great concern the announcement of the Prime Minister that the Polish government will sign without reservation the proposed Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. This is in contradiction to the earlier announcement of the Prime Minister, that a public debate is needed on the Convention and the consequences of its signature and ratification.

According to

The convention redefines gender as a social construct, rather than as a distinction grounded in biology, and suggests violence towards women is systemic with roots in religion and culture.

This new “social construct” definition, says Life Site News, is at odds with the definition in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (which this new convention cites). The Rome Statute states:

For the purposes of this Statute, it is understood that the term “gender” refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term "gender" does not indicate any meaning different from the above.

The bishops continued:

A particular concern is the imposition of the signatories' obligation to education (in Article 14) and promotion of "non-stereotypical gender roles," meaning, therefore, homosexuality and transsexualism. Linking the legitimate principle of preventing violence with a dangerous attempt to interfere with the educational system, and the moral values professed by millions of parents in Poland, is a very worrying sign.

The Polish bishops noted that although the European Council alleged that this new language was needed to protect women from violence, a goal which the bishops clearly support:

It should be emphasized that the Convention, although it is devoted to the major issue of violence against women, is built on ideological and false assumptions that are in no way acceptable. It suggests that violence against women is systemic, and its source is religion, tradition and culture, dismiss the achievements of civilization, which are considered "as a threat and a source of violence."

Echoing these thoughts, the Center for Service to Families, which operates a shelter in Lodz, one of the larger cities in Poland, stated:

The Convention would introduce into the Polish law a definition of sex based on the ideology of “gender.” The Convention has a characteristic pejorative attitude to culture, tradition and the heritage of nations. It seems that the authors of the convention must have realized that it would raise controversy.

Sadly, the Convention in its present form seems to be a social and political manifesto, and not an instrument for the protection of victims of violence. In this document, women have become a tool of hidden interests, once again they have been objectified and abused. Let us not connect the protection of abused women with the need to adopt the gender doctrine, or any other ideology.

The expression of concern by pro-life and pro-family groups in Poland seems to be having an effect. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has so far resisted the pressure to adopt the proposal. Some Poles have reminded the world that strong Catholic values allowed Polish society and culture to survive the Nazis and the Soviets, and would allow it to survive the latest attempt to impose on the country politically correct values from the outside.

Polish pro-life journalist Joanna Najfeld declared:

Nobody in this country, or in any other sane, democratic society, would agree to it [the convention] if it was being introduced through democratic channels, like a popular vote or a referendum. The mainstream liberal media silence, downplay, or manipulate the subject totally, so it can be ratified quietly by those in power in Poland now, and soon used against the Polish nation. The European Union uses the back door to impose these absurd, and extremely dangerous ideas on us. We are a traditional nation: traditional, meaning sane, rational and conservative. What they are doing is abuse on our nation. We are like a beaten woman, abused by somebody stronger, in her own home.

Other nations in Europe, notably the new socialist government in France, are moving in the direction of legalizing homosexual marriage and adopting a wide range of redefinitions of traditional families to please powerful constituencies.

Poland, however, is resisting this pressure and holding to those traditional values which have allowed it to exist even when it was not a nation. The people who survived Hitler and Stalin seem determined to overcome also the onslaught of secular humanism.

Photo: Archbishop Józef Michalik, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference 

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