Saturday 13 October 2018


This afternoon B.A. and I went to see a Polish anti-clerical film called "Kler" (Clergy). This is a blockbuster in Poland, and there were a goodly number of Poles in the audience, to say nothing of the Poles waiting outside the theatre to see the evening show.

I read and write sad news about Church scandals all week, so there was nothing new and shocking here for me* except that it was Poland and the director decided to drag the 1980s Solidarity priests into the mire. 

One of the priest-protagonists having an affair with a woman didn't shock me. Another being suspected of pedophilia--I've known of such things since I was 12. Still another being a financial fixer for his bishop--we've reported extensively on funny money business in the Vatican itself. But implicating a Solidarity priest in child abuse was really just too .... pass me my smelling salts

It could be an age thing, of course--especially for Westerners. It may be hard for Poles, especially young Poles, to understand what Solidarność meant to Eighties kids in Canada and the USA.  Of course, young Poles also don't know what it's like to worry about nuclear bombs flattening your town, either.  

But enough about Solidarity. I will probably write about Kler  extensively for LSN, but at the moment my first impressions are that the stories of the three priests and one boy were interesting and nuanced personal tragedies whereas the story around the avaricious bishop was gross, over-the-top, obviously political and even cartoonish.  

I read and hear the worst of bishops. I mean, seriously. I read things on social media about contemporary bishops than cannot be published because they have not been substantiated, but I have not read anything as bad or corrupt or ridiculous as what is alleged in the film of the fictional contemporary Polish bishop. I suspect that if I were a real moharowy beret (little old lady who listens to the Radio Maryja radio network) and I had wandered into Kler by accident, I would have fallen over dead at what is alleged about this fictional bishop. 

Meanwhile, it's not a badly acted film. There were four major stars in that film, and I shall now have a look and see how well their careers flourished under Communism.* I am also curious as to who funded this little anti-clerical shindig.

*Naturally there are upsetting scenes, and this is NOT a film for children. 

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