Polish Bishops Rap Europe Norms against Violence to Women as Interference
Luxmoore, Jonathan, The Christian Century
Poland's Roman Catholic Bishops Conference has denounced a Council of Europe convention prohibiting violence against women and urged the country's liberal government not to sign it.
"Although this convention focuses on the important problem of violence toward women, it is built on untruthful ideological assumptions which can in no way be accepted," the bishops said in a declaration July 9. "It mixes the proper principle of antiviolence with an attempt to interfere dangerously with our system of upbringing, and with values accepted by millions of Poles. This is a very worrying signal."
The bishops spoke out as the center-right government of the premier Donald Tusk prepared to sign the April 2011 "convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence," which creates the world's first comprehensive legal framework for curbing psychological and sexual violence, protecting victims and ending impunity for perpetrators.
They said the Tusk government had broken pledges to allow a public debate on the convention and had consulted "only women with leftist views" while ignoring pro-life and family groups.
The bishops added that the document erred in defining sexual differences as "socially constructed" and in "totally ignoring natural biological differences between men and women" and had caused "special concern" by appearing to "promote homosexuality and trans-sexuality. …