Protesting Madonna's Warsaw Concert
Madonna is scheduled to bring her "Sticky & Sweet" concert tour to Warsaw August 15, the day the Catholic Church celebrates the solemn Marian feast of the Assumption. The day is especially significant to Poles who honor the original Madonna under the title of Mary, Queen of Poland, at shrines all over the country, including the most important one at Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain) in Czestochowa.
Lech Walesa, former president of Poland, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and leader of Poland's legendary anti-communist Solidarity freedom movement, has expressed his support for the protests against pop singer Madonna's concert in Warsaw.
Three years ago, the singer sparked outrage in Poland when she was portrayed on the cover of the Polish magazine Machina, dressed as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. The monks of the Jasna Gora monastery published a statement saying that they were shocked to see a sacred symbol used in a profane way for advertisement and publicity.
According to Lech, "It's a satanic provocation"
Walesa wears the icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa on his lapel for decades, and said at a press conference: "I carry this portrait on my chest, so it is understandable, that I am not glad about this concert taking place on the day of Her feast."
"I am a man of faith and I would ask for such events not to happen on the day of such an important feast of my religion," Walesa said.
He added that he would be willing to meet with the pop star to discuss a change of dates for the concert. "I have nothing against her personally, even though she has committed many provocations, " Walesa observed.
Krzysztof Zagozda of the Catholic group Unum Principum also shared his opinion about the 50-year-old singer's concert date: "It offends our religious faith. Besides that, Madonna's performances are anti-Christian. "
"The concert of a highly perverse singer who calls herself 'Madonna' is deeply humiliating to Warsaw residents and Poles in general," said parliamentarian Marian Brudzynski, a member of the opposition Law and Justice party, who wrote a letter to the mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, asking for her intervention.
Brudzynski told the Krakow Post that the next step in the protest against the concert will be a prayer crusade, starting on the anniversary of the beginning of Warsaw Uprising of World War II.
"We have applied for a permission to celebrate Masses outside the Warsaw City Hall," Brudzynski said. "At 3pm every day we'll say the Divine Mercy Chaplet in front of the City Hall (which issued permission for Madonna's concert), then after the Mass, we will march towards the Warsaw Rising Heroes Monument, saying the Rosary on the way. There we will manifest our patriotism, making our presence obvious especially to the hypocritical officials."
The prayer crusade will start on the 1st of August and continue every day until the 15th, the scheduled date of the show.
Another Catholic group has informed the media that it intends to protest Madonna's Warsaw performance by sending letters to organizers of the show, telling them that should the concert take place, proper authorities will be informed that an offence of religious feelings has taken place, which is against Polish law, and that the law protecting religious symbols has been broken.
Timing is everything in comedy - and, apparently a few other things as well.
"The choice of the date for the show (on a major Marian feast), as well as the content of some advertisements (such as the one including the caption 'There's not room for two queens in that country'), both imply a clear intention to offend religious feelings of Poland's many Catholics," the group's letters state.
The letters conclude with, "Therefore, let me point out that an offence of religious feelings constitutes a violation of Article 196 of the Polish Criminal Code. Should the concert take place, I intend to inform proper authorities that you have broken the aforementioned article of the Law."
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