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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Częstochowa, Jasna Góra: The case of the Virgin Mary with boxing gloves in court

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The pilgrims who came to Jasna Góra in June and prayed for, among others, Iga Świątek and footballers participating in the European championships, brought a bas-relief of the Mother of God in boxing gloves. Three people who saw her concluded that there had been an offense against religious feelings. The case went to the prosecutor’s office and ended in court on Tuesday.

On June 12, the 31st Polish Pilgrimage of Athletes arrived at Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. As a votive offering, they laid a bas-relief of the Mother of God in boxing gloves, so that – as they said – “they would protect her from the attacks of bad people”. The pilgrimage was attended by players, coaches, priests and children and young people associated in the Catholic Sports Association of the Republic of Poland.

As the president of the Catholic Sports Association of the Republic of Poland emphasized, “these gloves are to protect Mary from evil people”. It was a gift from boxers and all athletes united in the sanctuary that caused some serious controversy.

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He referred to a rainbow halo

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Three people – two from Rzeszów and one from Wrocław – decided to submit a notification of offending their religious feelings. One of them was an LGBT activist. As he explained, he decided to submit a notification after in 2019 the Częstochowa prosecutor’s office conducted proceedings against a young resident of Warsaw who carried the image of the Mother of God with a rainbow halo during the Equality March in Częstochowa. The prosecution accused him of offending religious feelings. The court later dismissed the case.

The activist argued that since placing a rainbow halo in a painting with the Mother of God as an insult to religious feelings, the same should be applied to placing boxing gloves next to her image, symbolizing – as he pointed out – violence.

The prosecution did not share the arguments

However, the prosecutor’s office did not agree with these arguments and discontinued the case, stating that there were no indications of a prohibited act. She pointed out that offending other people’s religious feelings by publicly insulting an object of religious worship or a place intended for the public performance of religious rites, can only occur intentionally, while the goal of people who came to Jasna Góra with the image of the Mother of God with boxing gloves was to manifest a combination of their religion with entrusting to their hobby to Divine Providence.

The case was discontinued. A complaint was filed against this decision, which was examined by the District Court in Częstochowa on Tuesday. According to Tomasz Ozimek, spokesman of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Częstochowa, the court upheld the decision of the North District Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday. – This court decision is legally binding, no appeal is possible from it anymore – emphasized prosecutor Ozimek.

Main photo source: The Press Office of Jasna Góra



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