Holy smoke! Book-burning priest fined for illegal bonfire

Holy smoke! Book-burning priest fined for illegal bonfire April 4, 2019

THE Rev Rafal Jarosiewicz, a Catholic priest who recently led a book-burning ceremony in Gdansk, Poland, has been fined by local authorities.

An anti-smog group has also reportedly complained to prosecutors about the illegal burning of books and other items in an open fire outside a church.

Image via Facebook

Jarosiewicz, above wearing glasses, has since described the stunt as “unfortunate”, saying  the ritual was not intended to condemn specific authors, religions or social groups.

He published the apology late Tuesday on the Facebook page of the foundation he founded, Fundacja SMS Z Nieba. The page had earlier carried photos of the ritual  in which items deemed to be “disturbing” to parishioners at Our Lady Mother of the Church and St Catherine of Sweden were consigned to the flames.

Those photos were swiftly removed after a huge backlash, but went viral on the Internet. Some pointed out that book-burning was a favourite pastime of the Nazis, and one person suggested that involving youngsters in the ritual was “psychological child abuse.”

In the pictures, flames are seen consuming an African wooden mask, a small Buddhist figure, figurines of elephants and books on sorcery, including Harry Potter titles.

Image via Facebook

The book-burning served to focused further unfavourable attention on the Catholic Church in Poland, which is currently grappling with revelations about the scale of child sex abuse allegedly committed by paedophile priests.

Last month, the country’s Catholic bishops’ conference, the Episcopal Conference of Poland, said it had recorded cases of 382 clergymen who have abused 625 minors since 1990.

Meanwhile, prosecutors in the Polish town of Zamosc revealed on Wednesday they plan to send an indictment to the regional court charging a priest in his 30s who is accused of recording video of girls and women while they were in public changing rooms and toilets.

Prosecutor Artur Szykula told The Associated Press the priest admitted wrongdoing.

The priest was caught in August in Croatia while recording a girl in a changing room. That case is to be heard by a court in Split, Croatia, Szykula said.

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  • digital bookworm

    And at the bottom of that bonfire?

  • larry parker

    …the ritual was not intended to condemn specific authors, religions or social groups.

    So it was meant to condemn all authors, all religions (except mine) and all social groups (except mine)?

  • Raging Bee

    …saying the ritual was not intended to condemn specific authors, religions or social groups.

    …probably because he’d never actually read any of the books he’d decided to burn. Just like Khomeini had probably never read anything by Salman Rushdie before putting a price on his head.

  • smrnda

    Not sure about Polish laws, but most cities (and Gdansk is certainly one of the larger cities in Poland) have laws against bonfires, which are unsafe in densely populated areas.

  • Broga

    “the ritual was not intended to condemn specific authors, religions or social groups.”

    He just wanted to keep warm. After the event, and especially when it costs money, they usually change their minds. Their principles are shallow, malleable and fade like the mist in the dip in the hill in the morning sun. (Sorry about the failed attempt at the poetic but I enjoyed the sight of that this morning. Was that a “spiritual experience”? My dog was unaffected but then he has no soul.)

  • barriejohn

    It makes it worse when they try to wheedle their way out of it. I have more respect for people who admit their bigotry and fascistic mindset!

  • barriejohn
  • Broga

    We have a cat as well. Cross between a Siamese and a Burmese and adopted when he became homeless. Have cat’s got souls? I have only been advised on dogs, so far. I like the suggestion that if a dog believed in a god that god would be a dog.

  • barriejohn

    They seem to think that all animals have souls. Does that make some parasites evil?


  • Stephen Mynett

    Broga, BJ, good to see you two still post, a pity we have lost many of the other regulars.

    Re your cat and dog posts: https://i1.wp.com/blog.thisvsthatshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/DogsvsCats_God2.jpg

  • Mythblaster

    Burning books is barely a step above burning babies. There’s no way the optics can come out looking good for the one who lit the fire…

  • Roder51

    Hope he didn’t burn the Bible cause it’s got all that evidence in it. LMFAO!

  • Matt G

    Maybe this is his bid for a Fox talk show.

  • Cheryl Simon

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (gasps for air) ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

  • Freethinker

    What the image failed to capture was the thoughts of the two altar boys, pictured standing next to him, wondering if he is going to rape them again.

  • Arthur F. Meincke

    Hocus Pocus! Just like the Nazi Brownshirts in Germany, 1934-1939 The Roman Catholic church is the worlds oldest terrorist organization…

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