Pop-Singer Madonna Offends Polish Catholics With Images, Contents and a Date

Country: Poland

Date of incident: August 2, 2009

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Arts



Pop-singer Madonna performed on August 15, the main Marian feast day of Polish Catholics, in Warsaw with for Christians offensive lyrics and images. Ads included sentences such as “There is no room for two queens in that country.”

When it was announced that American pop-singer Madonna would be performing in Warsawa's Bemowo Airport on August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Polish authorities, various groups and organizations, thousand of Poles and foreigners protested to the ministry of interior affairs asking to cancel or at least reschedule the date of the concert. August 15 is not just any Catholic feast day or Polish national holiday; it is the day when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims arrive at the foot of Our Lady of Czestochowa shrine at Jasna Gora. Many saw the choice of this special day as provocation. Also the content of some advertisements, such as the one including the caption “There is no room for two queens in that country” implied a clear intention to offend religious feelings of Poland's many Catholics. The 50-year old singer has a long mixed blasphemy with sexual themes; climbing on the cross, promoting homosexuality and pornography with obscene gestures, using the blasphemous titles of her songs such as “Confession” or “Like a prayer”. Janusz Kochanowski, a well-known Polish spokesman for Citizens' Rights, even before the concert took place, claimed that the religious feelings of the Poles would be hurt. The concert would be a violation of the Polish criminal law, Article 196. Janusz Kochanowski explained that there are certain bounds of decency which cannot be overstepped in the name of freedom, be it freedom of artistic expression, conscience or religion. Krysztof Zagozga of the Catholic group Unum Principum also shared his opinion about the concert's date: “It offends our religious faith. Besides that, Madonna's performances are anti-Christian.” Lech Walesa, former president of Poland, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and leader of Poland's legendary anti-communist Solidarity freedom movement, has also expressed his support for the protests against Madonna's concert. 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 were shocked to see a sacred symbol used in a profane way for advertisement and publicity.  24,500 people signed a petition of protest, which went unheard.  For further information please view:  http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2009/06/10/Poland-Catholics-oppose-Madonnas-concert/UPI-86861244648726/  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/madonna/5768925/Lech-Walesa-backs-protests-against-Madonna-concert-in-Poland.html