Alan T. Harrison

The Most Revd Tadeusz Gocłowski, C.M.
Archbishop of Gdańsk
By e-mail
CC:Ms Dorota Nieznalska

16 February 2005

Your Grace,

I must begin by apologising for writing to you in English. I do not speak, read or write Polish.

I am English and a Christian. To be precise, I am an Anglican layman, and a member of the Diocesan Synod in the Diocese of London. By profession, I am a lecturer at Brunel University, Uxbridge. I do not write to foreign prelates every day - indeed this is the first time that I have done so in my life - and am moved to do so by a current event in your Archdiocese, the trial of Ms Dorota Nieznalska and the attendant demonstrations by the right-wing party called the LPR.

So far as issues of secular law are concerned, I have made my views known by writing to His Excellency the Polish Ambassador in London, and shall not trouble you with that matter. Similarly, I am not an art expert and make no judgment on the merit of the work entitled Pasja.

My one concern in writing to you is the damage being done to the reputation of Christianity in general, and of the Church in Poland in particular, by the behaviour of the LPR. I am not offended by Ms Nieznalska's artefact, although I can understand why some Christians may find it offensive. I am very much offended by the use of crucifixes in demonstrations in and around the court by supporters of the LPR. I am amazed that, in a country in which 95% of the population are at least nominally Catholic, the LPR supporters' faith should be so weak that they feel threatened by one work of art by one young woman. I am appalled that people purporting to be Christians should threaten Ms Nieznalska with rape. The bullying and intimidation of the LPR dishonours the name of the Lord Jesus far more than any imagined insult by a controversial work of art. I appeal to you and your brother bishops to make it very clear that the Church repudiates the thuggish behaviour of the LPR.

I am copying this letter to Ms Nieznalska, because I believe that she needs to know that not all Christians share the repugnant attitude of the LPR.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Alan T. Harrison

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