Thursday, October 18, 2018

"Kler" or "The Clergy" 2018 Film about Polish Priests Is Controversial

Polish film Kler sparks hundreds of abuse allegations: The Guardian

Kler breaks box office records Hollywood Reporter

Movie Depicts Polish clerics as drunken fornicators and pedophiles Naijanews

Kler shows clergy as much victims as villains The Guardian

Kler turns mirror on audience Irish Times

PiS tries to ban Kler The Telegraph

Kler sparks debate Deutsche Welle

Kler at Rotten Tomatoes

Kler at IMDB 


  1. The painting of the Catholic Church as a den of pedophiles has enjoyed considerable political success in the USA and in Ireland. So why not in Poland?

    I would like to see a detailed study, and blockbuster film, about who has an interest in slandering the Catholic Church and why.

    1. "I would like to see a detailed study, and blockbuster film, about who has an interest in slandering the Catholic Church and why."

      Accurate reporting is not slander.

      In the US, Catholics have been among the most important voices reporting on and condemning clergy abuse.

  2. Reporting that may be accurate is being amplified and made into a "moral panic" through frequent retelling in the media.

    All this is a carbon copy of Nazi Joseph Goebbels' attempts to destroy the moral authority of the Church after its anti-Nazi encyclical, MIT BRENNENDER SORGE. See:

    Now, the cultural Marxists are using the same strategy.

    1. Reports of clergy abuse are carbon copies of Goebbels?

      Mr Peczkis you outdo yourself.

  3. Jan, what is interesting in the U.S. now, is that the most traditional of Catholics are calling on Bishops to resign over coverups.

    1. Exactly.

      And the more concessions (resignations), the more accusations against the Church, the more demands for still more resignations, and the more expansive the media hype about how bad, bad the Catholic Church is.

      I will believe the media line (that this is all about the child victims, and there is nothing anti-Catholic about all this) when I see the same media indignation over pedophile bricklayers and pedophile scuba divers as I do over pedophile priests. Until then, I see right through it.

      Until recently, homosexuality was a matter of closeted living, fear of discovery, and shame. In other words, it was all about coverups--moreover often at multiple levels. So what's the big deal about coverups of pedophilia, which is as abominable as homosexuality was until recently?

      Finally, if one's sexual orientation is inborn, and not something that one chooses, as in the case of being gay (or straight), then why not cut the pedophiles some slack (even if we cannot legalize the act) and realize that pedophiles were born that way, and are therefore not bad people?

      So leave the Catholic Church alone.

  4. just require priests to marry and pedophile homosexuals will not be attracted to the cloth.

    1. Like most American Catholics, I think priests should marry. In fact I think the church should think twice about accepting men who claim to be celibate.

  5. I think to fully appreciate the significance of this movie one has to understand how powerful the Catholic Church is in Poland. It is not a Catholic Church in the USA with its separation of church and state and the Catholics being one of the religious minorities.

    The Catholic Church in Poland wields considerable power even over the non-religious, which is sanctioned by the state. A child in a public school has to pass some considerable hurdles if unwilling to participate in religious instruction by a Catholic priest or a teacher sanctioned by the Church. Many schools integrate Catholic masses and events into their lessons, forcing non-Catholic pupils to participate or singling out those who do not. Reproductive rights of women are limited to accommodate the position of the Church.

    Catholic schools and universities are privileged over non-Catholic ones and the Church owns the most of the best properties in many of Poland's largest cities. It is the country's largest and richest corporation, which pays virtually no taxes, but receives generous handouts from the taxpayer's wallet. And the intellectual and moral quality of the people of the Polish Catholic Church (the "clergy") has been steadily falling in the last decades. There is no new John Paul II, nor new Józef Tischner or Franciszek Macharski. However, there are many members of the clergy similar to the ones shown in the movie.

    The general feeling of us Poles, Catholic and non-Catholic, is "enough". It went too far. Their arrogance and corruption is unacceptable and we will no longer fund it, even those of us who believe in God and the Gospel. The Church needs cutting back to size and its arrogance needs to be contained. That is why this movie is such a hit in Poland.

    1. Piotr thanks for your reflection. I think educated Americans do have an appreciation of how powerful the Catholic Church is in Poland.

    2. Piotr Sitarek,

      If you changed a few words of your very excellent post, you'd be describing perfectly the situation here in Israel.

      "The Church needs cutting back to size and its arrogance needs to be contained."

      Yes. The same goes for the rabbinate here in Israel.

  6. Polish politicians define Polish law, the Church doesn't. Piotr Sitarek claims to know ''the general feeling''. And your source is?
    People in Poland do live in "bubbles", they read different papers, watch different televisons and fight during Xmas suppers, when two camps meet. Piotr belongs to the PO/Gazeta Wyborcza camp. The other camp is of similar quantity. I belong to the neutral minority of "symmetrists", hated both by PO and PiS.
    The anti-abortion law has been coined by laity. The most prominent activist is Kaja Godek, a woman, not any priest.
    Piotr, many Poles have "enough" of your aggression. Please try to accept you aren't any better than them.

    1. Jerzy I wish you would post under a real first and last name, as do the others posting on this page.

      You ask how Piotr knows. Kler has broken all box office records. It has considerable support.

    2. Jerzy please don't, in future posts, claim to know what other people are thinking. Please speak for yourself. Thank you in advance.

    3. Jerzy "Piotr, many Poles have "enough" of your aggression."

      This is complete bizarre and from left field. Piotr has never been anything but courteous in his comments here.

    4. Danusha, thank you for your kind words!

      Jerzy, I did not mean to say that I speak for everybody, rather that such a feeling is widespread, even if not completely universal. The number of viewers in cinemas speak for themselves, especially if you take into account that many of the youngest Poles (who are likely to be anticlerical) prefer to watch movies on the Internet rather than in cinemas.

      My own political views do not matter for the readers of this blog, but you are not entirely on point in your guess.

      I think what is interesting is how to read this movie. If it is just a satire on sinful priests, then it is nothing new. The first Polish language poets satirized sinful priests, not to mention anticlerical classics such as Ignacy Krasicki and Tadeusz Kościuszko. "Holy church of sinful priests" is an old story, one that will not bring any change.

      Another reading is that of personal tragedies caused or facilitated or hidden by the church, such an widespread sexual abuse.

      Another is "protestant" reading - just as Martin Luther or other leaders in 16th century did, one could claim that the Catholic church requires religious renewal.This is what many devout Catholics would say.

      I would say that the current state of entanglement of the Catholic church with the Polish state is corrosive both for the church and the state. Both would be better off if the separation of church and state was truly implemented in Poland.

    5. Piotr thanks for that fascinating reply. People who think that criticism of degenerate priests is a recent phenom generated by leftists can't account for age old criticisms of priests, such as those you mention.

  7. Jan Peczkis you sent in another post saying that reports of Catholic Church sex abuse are the products of left wingers, possibly Jews, (you used a specific Polish term often associated with Jews).

    I didn't post your message because it was a repeat of previous messages alleging more or less the same thing.

  8. Piotr, what is "widespread" - 5%, 10%?
    Danusha, I mean the words "The general feeling of us Poles, Catholic and non-Catholic, is "enough". It went too far. Their arrogance and corruption is unacceptable ..." If a person declares to represent the majority it's aggression for me. Sooner or later people will start to kill priests in Poland, and not those rich and corrupted, but the ones who are at hand. 40 years ago Urban criticised Jerzy Popiełuszko and Popiełuszko was killed. Now the producers of the movie invite Urban as a VIP. In 2010 many journalists attacked PiS and a low-level activist was killed.
    Poland is a democratic country. About 6% support anticlerical Nowoczesna, about 1% anticlerical leftist "Razem". The next election will be next year.

    1. Popieluszko was murdered by the state.

      This movie is not an attack, from what I read. It is an expose of bad behavior.

      The church is not above criticism, and the church needs to change. No institution should be allowed to cultivate and shelter pedophiles.

    2. Danusha, you don't quote any critics of the film, because WASP media don't translate such critics. WASP culture has been anti-catholic since Henry VIII. Smarzowski has declared his anti-religion attitude, he certainly doesn't care about the church nor its believers. Father Isakowicz-Zaleski has criticized many bishops and priests since ages, but his critics was been rejected as anti-liberal. Now the same facts return as taboo breaking. In Communist Poland the political police controlled sexual life of all priests, including pedophilia. Probably publication of such documents would have made the Polish church better, unfortunately many liberal politicians and bishops opposed any form of "lustracja". I believe that Polish church needs laity control, perhaps in form of parochial councils. The problem is that Poles fight in any situation, so they would destroy many parishes. It's typical in Poland that there are two parallel councils (in a village, cooperative), which litigate destroying economy and human relationships.
      Jerzy Pankiewicz

    3. The murder of Popieluszko was prepared by a propaganda campaign designed by Jerzy Urban as Michal Ostrowski. The killers quoted this media propaganda, no written orders have been found yet and the apparent killers - Jaruzelski and Kiszczak died as honorable people.

    4. Jerzy Pankiewicz wrote "Danusha, you don't quote any critics of the film, because WASP media don't translate such critics"

      You have no idea why I post what I post, any more than you have any idea what Piotr's politics are.

      I recommend that you cease the uninformed personal criticisms of posters here.

    5. Danusha, I'm sorry I don't understand you angry comment. You have posted a list of opinions about the film. If you have another sources, please list them.
      Jerzy Pankiewicz

  9. Regarding my identity, I have been informed by my computer that I should publish under my Google account. I'll sign my postings in the future.
    Jerzy Pankiewicz

  10. Folks, this discussion forum is for discussion. Please don't attempt to post anything that is little more than a link to some outside site. Say what you want to say in the body of your post. Thank you in advance.


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