A former priest of Wroclaw's parish of St. Anne in Oporów allowed ultra-right wing group ONR to promote their activities inside a cathedral in Białystok last weekend.
The man who facilitated the ONR's takeover of the cathedral is Jacek Międlar, a priest who was reportedly moved to Zakopane by Wroclaw's Curia due to concern over his extreme views, controversial comments and incessant political activity. Before being swept out of Wroclaw the priest had been vocal at a number of ONR events, chanting phrases such as "Fuck Arabs" at the group's anti-Islamification demos on the market square.
It was hoped that a move to the mountain town of Zakopane would see Jacek Międlar tone down his comments and thaw his involvement with the ONR. However after a few weeks of relative silence, the priest returned to the fray by writing nationalist columns for the website wDolnymŚląsku.com.
Now the priest has hit the headlines again due to his close involvement with the ONR. Before mass inside Białystok's picturesque cathedral, Międlar granted ONR permission to have their flags proudly displayed along the isle (as in the photo above). Then during mass itself, the former Wroclaw priest claimed that Poland was suffering from "cancer" and that the only "chemeotherapy" to cure the country is "uncompromising nationalist-Catholic radicalism".
Following mass, ONR members and supporters embarked on a march to the city centre to celebrate 82 years of their organisation. During the march the ultra right wing group chanted slogans such as "Young, active and radical, we are Poles!", "The new generation brings the rebirth of Poland!", "No war for Israel", "the US are the empire of evil", "Down with the European Union", " no red, no rainbow, only Polish nationalism ", "United Polish Catholic" and "We do not want Islam, terrorists or Muslims here".
The ONR's website contains a 7 point declaration of their ideology. The declaration demands the "exclusion of the enlightenment ideology of human rights", the "rejection of liberal democracy" and slams homosexuality. It is also the same group that was involved in the burning of a Jewish effigy in Wroclaw last November.
Concern over last weekend's march even prompted Białystok's University of Technology to put out a warning to its international students:
Following yesterday's mass and march, Jacek Międlar is showing no signs of slowing down his involvement with the ONR. Indeed, he has reportedly invited all the group to join him on a pilgrimage to Jasna Góra under the slogan of "Restoring all things in Christ".
Given that Międlar was a priest here in Wroclaw, city authorities will no doubt be breathing a sigh of relief. Had he not been shifted away from the city, it is feasible that such an event could have happened at a church here in Wroclaw – a situation that may have sparked negative headlines particularly unwelcome during the city's tenure as the European Capital Of Culture.