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Top Polish Catholic archbishop urges against ‘ideological totalitarianism’ in LGBT debate

Top Polish Catholic archbishop urges against ‘ideological totalitarianism’ in LGBT debate
The highest Catholic religious authority in Poland has argued that, while Catholics should not discriminate against ‘sexual minorities,’ LGBT ‘ideology’ must be rejected, as it advocates a revolution in social customs.

In a missive published on Thursday, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki wrote that “Sexual minorities are our brothers and sisters for whom Christ gave his life and who also wants to be saved,” but added that “Respect for specific people ... cannot lead to the acceptance of an ideology that aims to revolutionize social customs and interpersonal relationships.”

Gądecki, who serves as chairman of the Polish Episcopate, also warned of the threat of “ideological totalitarianism” and called for tolerance for “not only the supporters of [LGBT] ideology, but also to allow its opponents equal rights to debate.”

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Though Pope Francis maintains that marriage should remain solely as between men and women, he has emphasized the need for the Church to be accepting and compassionate toward LGBT individuals. Other high-ranking Polish Catholics, however, such as Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, have slammed pro-LGBT Christian groups for selectively quoting the Pope’s commentary and for “falsifying the church’s unchangeable teaching” on same-sex relationships.

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Gądecki has previously weighed in on matters of sexuality; in 2015, he said that support for the LGBT cause was a form of “false compassion” and he has accused gay rights activists of carrying out attacks on priests and churches across Poland.

Homosexuality and transgenderism remain controversial among many socially conservative Poles, with over 85 percent of the country identifying as Catholic, according to 2014 census data. Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Poland, and recent pride marches in the country have required police escorts to fend off attacks from right-wing activists.

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