Harmony party leader alleges Europe-wide anti-Christian "provocation"

Jānis Urbanovičs, parliamentary leader of the Harmony party, has alleged that a non-governmental organization with the power to control states, governments and ministries is engaged in a Europe-wide campaign to discredit Christianity.

The mind-boggling belief emerged on LTV's De Facto investigative reporting show September 16, during a story centering on allegations that a Catholic priest in Latvia's eastern Latgale region sexually abused a mentally disabled man as part of a human trafficking ring. 

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The priest, Pavels Zeila, remains in police custody while investigations into the alleged crime continue. However, Zeila has retained considerable support from his parishoners and others who have declared his innocence even before the full facts of the case have been disclosed in court.

As previously reported by LSM, a large demonstration was staged a week ago in support of the priest. 

But as De Facto reported, politicians are also aligning themselves in his defense and the defense of the Catholic church from the latest in a long line of allegations of sexual misconduct, ahead of a papal visit in a week's time.

According to De Facto, several politicians from the Harmony party - which describes itself as "social democrat" in philosophy - are among Zeila's defenders.

Asked why he had signed an open letter defending Zeila before either charges have been brought or the case is dropped, political veteran Urbanovičs stated:

"It has been organized by a non-governmental organization, which knows how to control all this country, government, interior ministry, with the purpose of discrediting all Christians, and Catholics among them. It is a provocation on a Europe-wide scale, so that wherever the Pope goes there is a scandal."

Urbanovičs quote

The Pope is due to visit Latgale on September 24 during a one-day visit to Latvia. Urbanovičs did not name the non-governmental organization he believes has the power to control governments, but it would appear to be a line of thought that corresponds with conspiracy theories concerning George Soross and the Open Society Foundation that are a popular theme among far-right groups.

Urbanovičs, a Saeima deputy since 1994, is himself co-founder of a non-governmental organization, namely the Baltic Forum which holds an annual conference to discuss relations between Latvia and countries of the former Soviet Union. According to a piece he wrote for its most recent conference, there is more than one conspiracy up and running at the moment. Globalization, he writes, is something that can be defined as "unification of different countries and territories under the rule of the United States."

In the same speech, which begins with a quotation from Albert Einstein, the former first secretary of the Komsomol (the Communist party's youth wing) and current social democrat declares his core belief:

"I think that the “value” issue is philosophical and moral, not political. And if we are talking about real, unchanging values – those are the ones Moses was given by God on Sinai hill… The rest is from [the] devil."

While on one level his words to De Facto appear outlandish to the point of absurdity, its implication is more serious. In effect a senior politician with a chance of being part of the next government is alleging that rather than investigating a report of serious sexual assault against a helpless individual, the police and the legal system are complicit in an anti-clerical conspiracy.

Zeila has protested his innocence via his lawyer. The investigation continues.

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