The Silver Ring Thing - the United States-based sexual abstinence program - comes to Poland.
Known here as a ‘purity ring’, the freebie paper Metro reported this morning that the Roman Catholic church is hoping they can make waiting to lose one’s cherry till after one is wed trendy in Poland.
The ‘movement’ was launched at the sanctuary of Blessed Karolina Kózka, near Tarnów in southern Poland.
Karolina Kózka was a 16-year-old girl who was murdered in 1898 when she tried to stop a Russian soldier from raping her.
She was beatified by Pope John Paul II 20 years ago and is now considered the patron of teenage chastity.
Inscribed on the Silver Ring Things in the US are verses from the Bible, such as:
"God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body and live in holiness and honor."
So does the church here stand a chance of making chastity trendy?
I would say that it is going to be a tough job
Many web sites have been running polls on whether it is really a rather good idea to hang on till you are married. The results, of course, show a clear majority for doing it before marriage.
And I remember when I first came to Poland and was living in Hotel Sokrates, the place they dump foreign university lecturers and PhD students in Warsaw. One of my fellow inmates was an American woman who had first came over to Poland as part of the Peace Corp. As usual, she was posted to a small town in the middle of nowhere, down south.
Now, my American friend liked to party – she liked the pleasures in life that nature, in its cosmic wisdom, has endowed us with.
I knew nothing of Poles and their attitudes to the pleasures of the flesh. It was a ‘Catholic’ country, after all. Maybe they all did wear chastity belts until the honeymoon?
So I asked the American woman – “You know...when you were in that small village, didn’t you get...you know...”
“Frustrated?” she said. “Oh, no. Poles love their sex!"
It was the best news I had heard all day.