(Warsaw) Thousands of Poles demonstrated on Sunday to defend the reputation of former Pope John Paul II, recently accused of covering up pedophilia crimes when he was archbishop, in a country known for its attachment to the Catholic faith .

On horseback, in historical costume or just with a yellow and white flag of the Vatican or white and red of Poland, some tens of thousands of Poles followed in Warsaw a “National March for the Pope” who died in April 2005.

Like all the others, this march was organized by Catholic organizations with the open support of the government and the ruling populist nationalist party (PiS). The Polish Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, notably participated.

“As every honest man defends his children, his father and his mother, every Pole defends John Paul II,” read one of the signs held up by the participants.

“We pass the test by carrying the truth, which must oppose lies, slander and insults”, tweeted Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in particular.

“We thank God for this immeasurable gift that the Polish Pope was and remains for the Church, for Poland and for the world”, for his part underlined the head of the PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in a letter to the members of his left.

“We stand up to defend his honor and his good reputation,” he insisted, a few months before the legislative elections in Poland.

On the same day, a statue of John Paul II was vandalized in Lodz (Center): his hands were covered with red paint and the base marked with an inscription “Maxima culpa” (“The greatest fault”, Editor’s note).

This inscription refers to the book by journalist Ekke Overboek Maxima culpa. John Paul II knew, recently published in Poland.

This book and a similar report on the TVN commercial channel claimed that the future pope had concealed cases of pedophilia, which has since provoked a heated debate between power and the Church, on the one hand, the liberals and the left. the other.