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MEPs voted by 438 to 152 votes to condemn so-called “serious violations” by Poland and recommend that Member States launch Article 7 procedures, which will strip Poland of its right to vote in the EU and could see funding withdrawn.
The slogan for this year’s event was “We Want God,” in line with emotional themes of the past rallies. The words were taken from an old Polish religious song that US President Donald Trump quoted from during a visit to Warsaw earlier this year.
GDANSK, Poland — Polish Catholics held rosaries and prayed together Saturday along the country’s 3,500-kilometer (2,000-mile) border, appealing to the Virgin Mary and God for salvation for Poland and the world in a national event that many felt had anti-Islam overtones.
The unusual “Rosary on the Borders” event was organized by lay Catholics but was also endorsed by Polish church authorities, with 320 churches from 22 dioceses taking part. The prayers took place from the Baltic Sea coast in the north to the mountains along Poland’s southern borders with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and all along the border of this country of 38 million where more than 90 percent declare themselves Roman Catholics.
Organizers say the event commemorated the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima, when three shepherd children in Portugal said the Virgin Mary appeared to them.
But the event also commemorated the huge 16th-century naval battle of Lepanto, when a Christian alliance acting on the wishes of the pope defeated Ottoman Empire forces on the Ionian Sea, “thus saving Europe from Islamization,” as organizers put it.
Poland’s bishops have urged the nation’s Catholics to join a massive rosary prayer crusade along the country’s 2,000-mile border to pray for the salvation of their country.
Organizers say they expect up to a million people to participate in the “Rosary on the Borders” event on October 7, the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, where “the Christian fleet overcame the Muslim armada, saving Europe from Islamization.”
At least the church is trying to be relevant in Poland
The head of the Polish National Security Office has announced that the country will not be taking in Muslim migrants after the latest terror attacks in Spain saying poorly integrated Muslim communities allow terrorism to fester.
“We do not want to participate in the mandatory process of relocation of migrants coming from the Middle East and Africa. We do not want to implement the decision of the European Union taken in September of 2015,” Waszczykowski said.