It remains deaf to rational argument," Szostkiewicz said."What is happening around Father Lemanski would not be possible in the west, where this absence of dialogue, this coercion against a priest would be unthinkable."But the faithful will not put up with it.
While over 90% of Poles identify themselves as Roman Catholic, ever fewer are heading for the pews on Sunday."Despite a drop in attendance - 40% of people attend mass against 50-60% only a couple years ago - the Church still feels very strong.
He said Lemanski was symbolic of the Church under the new pope: one more attentive to the everyday concerns of its flock and less of a hierarchical, authoritarian institution with little or no tolerance for dissent."Father Lemanski spoke out against language used by the Polish Church that is hurtful to people who think differently, notably on the subject of in-vitro fertilisation, abortion, or homosexuality - a language of hate," he said.
Adam Szostkiewicz, a commentator on Church affairs at the leftwing Polityka weekly, stressed that "Father Lemanski is not calling into question Church doctrine itself". He just spoke according to his conscience, against statements that stigmatise people and whose dignity has been violated." Exceptional achievements Lemanski recently defended 26-year-old Agnieszka Ziolkowska, Poland's first test-tube baby, who decided to leave the Catholic Church.
Lemanski alleged that Hoser, aged 70, had asked him in a private meeting whether he was a Jew and circumcised.
The archbishop flatly denied making the comments deemed anti-Semitic by observers in the Polish media.