COLOGNE, July 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Polish priest Fr. Dariusz Oko has been charged by a German court with “incitement to hatred” for an article he wrote about homosexual clerical abuse, following a complaint by a pro-LGBT priest in Germany.
Oko’s article, published in the January/February edition of theological journal Theologisches, highlighted cases of abuse by homosexual priests and bishops and detailed mechanisms used by “homoclans” or a “homomafia” of predatory clerics to avoid accountability.
Oko described such groups as “a colony of parasites” that “cares first of all for itself, and not for the hosts at whose expense it lives,” and as a “homosexual plague” or a “cancer that is even ready to kill its host,” among other things. He stressed that “the existence of such powerful clans” attested to by both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI “is an obvious logical, ethical, and dogmatic contradiction to the very essence of the Church and her teaching.”
In a sentence this month, the Cologne District Court claimed that Oko’s article, titled “On the need to curb homosexual cliques in the Church,” constituted “incitement to hatred” against homosexual people. The court demanded that Oko pay a fine of 4,800 euros or serve 120 days in jail, according to Polish magazine Wprost, and reportedly charged Fr. Johannes Stöhr, the editor-in-chief of Theologisches, as well. Oko has already appealed, and a trial is expected, katholisch.de reported.
Fr. Wolfgang Rothe, a dissident, scandal-plagued priest with the Archdiocese of Munich, has confirmed on social media that he accused Oko and celebrated the charges handed down by the Cologne court. Rothe was one of many German clerics who participated in a wave of illicit same-sex “blessing” ceremonies this spring and formerly held the post of deputy rector at an Austrian seminary shut down in 2004 amid a massive child pornography and homosexual misconduct scandal.
The Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture, a conservative Polish legal organization, is providing aide to Oko and Stöhr and has launched a petition on their behalf to the Cologne District Court and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The petition has garnered more than 15,000 signatures as of Wednesday.
“We have serious reservations about the legal basis for prosecuting” the two priests, said Ordo Iuris president Jerzy Kwaśniewski in a statement Monday. “Article 130 of the German Criminal Code prohibits hate speech against a number of groups, none of which is mentioned in the article by Fr. Prof. Oko.”
“In addition, we are dealing with a scientific article, so we are operating in the area of academic freedom, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and criticism, the protection of which under the German constitution and the international system of human rights prevents the conviction of the author and editor-in-chief of a scientific journal,” he added.
Oko responded to the ruling against him in an interview with TVP Info, saying that he is “determined” to “save the seminarians from homocliques.”
“The Germans are putting me in jail? My grandfather and grandmother saved Jews, risked their lives, despite the fact that the Germans forbade saving Jews,” he said. “I am similarly determined, despite the fact that the Germans forbid me, to save the seminarians from homocliques.”
“This is a scientific article based on the enormous knowledge that comes to me from all over the world, from ordinary people, from the police, from the secret services. I collect known facts about homosexuals in cassocks and their habits,” he continued. “This ‘lavender mafia’ plays a similar role to the mafia in Sicily.”
“Is the criticism of the criminal activity of the Sicilian mafia an incitement to hatred against all Sicilians? So how can an academic reflection on the challenge of a criminal network connected with homosexual practices in the Church be an incitement to hatred against all homosexuals?”
The sentence against Oko has also caught the attention of Polish deputy minister of justice Marcin Romanowski, who slammed the ruling in a tweet yesterday. “According to the German court, Fr. Prof. Dariusz Oko, by exposing a group of rapists operating inside the church in a scientific article, incited hatred. The court thus trampled on academic freedom and showed that it values torturers more than victims,” he wrote. “Let us not allow such paranoia in Poland.”
Według niemieckiego sądu ks. prof. Dariusz Oko demaskując w artykule naukowym grupę gwałcicieli działających wewnątrz kościoła, podżegał do nienawiści. Sąd tym samym zadeptał wolność akademicką i pokazał, że wyżej ceni oprawców niż ofiary. Nie dopuśćmy do takiej paranoi w Polsce
— Marcin Romanowski (@MarRomanowski) July 26, 2021
Fr. Oko, who currently works with the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, has long been an outspoken defender of Catholic teaching on homosexuality and gender, as well as a vocal critic of what he calls “homoheresy” and homosexual abuse within the Church.
“We are dealing not only with the problem of a homoideology and a homolobby outside the Church, but with an analogous problem within it as well, where homoideology takes the form of a homoheresy,” Oko wrote in his 2012 book, With the Pope Against the Homoheresy. He
published another book earlier this year, Lavender Mafia: With the Popes and Bishops against the Homoclique in the Church, from which his recent Theologisches article is drawn.