Poles campaign to have Canadian pro-life heroine Mary Wagner receive presidential honor
KRAKOW, March 14, 2018 (LifeSIteNews) – Pro-lifers in Poland are asking their government to honor a Canadian pro-lifer with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland on account of her heroic witness to life that has landed her in jail numerous times.
A request for the medal to be awarded to Mary Wagner is currently being prepared, Jerzy Kwaśniewski, president of the pro-life, pro-family Ordo Iuris Institute, told Polish newspaper Nasz Dziennik (“Our Daily”).
“The courageous actions of Mary Wagner and her testimony to the protection of the lives of unborn children remind us of the international standards of children’s rights that are often overlooked today,” Kwaśniewski said.
“As one of the authors of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Poland plays a special role in promoting legal solutions that protect the right to life and human dignity.”
“The fortitude in the defense of innocent human life that Mary Wagner has shown and which has attracted so many Poles deserves this special distinction [of the Order of Merit],” Kwaśniewski argued.
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The application will be submitted to Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the hope that the award will eventually be granted by President Andrzej Duda.
The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is normally awarded to a non-Pole or a Pole resident abroad for contributing in an important way to cooperation between Poland and other countries.
Members have included such luminaries as Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Ronald Reagan.
Mary Wagner is a household name in Poland, not only because she has been imprisoned nine times for attempting to save Canadian mothers and babies from the scourge of abortion, but because she has travelled through the Central European country to encourage Polish pro-lifers in their own endeavors.
Polish pro-lifers are currently lobbying to have eugenic abortion banned in their nation. Although Poland’s laws protect most unborn children, they are insufficient to save the lives of many children with disabilities. The year 2018 also marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Poland regaining her independence from Russia, Germany and Austria. For both reasons, Mr. Kwaśniewski believes that this would be a “great time” to honor Wagner for her inspirational sacrifices on behalf of the unborn.
For several years, Poles have supported Wagner by sending letters to her in prison and petitioning Canadian judges and the Canadian government for clemency. The Canadian has become such an important symbol to the Polish pro-life movement that one Polish fan ordered custom-made “Mary Wagner” stamps from the Polish Post Office.
Father Tadeuz Guz, who has visited Wagner in prison said that awarding her the Order of Merit of the Polish Republic would be an “important gesture”.
“I believe that the honoring of Miss Mary Wagner by top Polish leaders would be a beautiful and extremely important gesture in view of her impact upon the whole world through her heroic stance and witness, defending the life of every person from conception until natural death,” he told the Polish paper.
Pro-life physician Dr. Bogdan Chazan told Nasz Dziennik that he enthusiastically supports the plan.
“An appeal for some kind of medal or distinction is an excellent idea. Of course, many people would sign it. Certainly, I would support it myself,” he said. “Mary Wagner is a model for contemporary people who are very often seduced by the spirit of this world.”
Nasz Dziennik revealed that during a picket held outside the Canadian Embassy in honor of Wagner’s birthday, participants discussed the idea of having Wagner granted honorary Polish citizenship. However, as such an honor does not exist, they next hit upon the plan of lobbying for her to be granted the Order of Merit.