Polish court rejects call to remove crucifix from parliament
By Chris Borowski and Pawel Sobczak
WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish court has rejected a motion calling for the removal of a crucifix from parliament's debating chamber in a case pitting Poland's traditional Catholicism against a younger generation who think the church is too strong.
Warsaw's district court late on Monday argued that since the cross had not been met with any objections in the past it was accepted by most Poles and did not violate their rights.
The crucifix was placed in the chamber one night by two conservative politicians in 1997.
The court also chastised the anti-clerical Palikot's Movement party led by former vodka tycoon Janusz Palikot which brought the court case, accusing it of calling for tolerance yet failing to show acceptance of religious symbols.
The party has tapped Poland's growing secularization to become the country's third-largest political force. It said it would appeal the decision.
"The court failed to show objectivity in its decision," said Andrzej Rozenek, one of the party's parliamentary deputies.
"We will appeal this and then seek to have any unfavorable decision overturned. We are determined, so the path should take us all the way to Strasbourg," he said, referring to the European Court of Human Rights.
Poland's rightist politicians hailed the court's decision, saying it reflected the feelings of most Poles. Continued...