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Abstract

In 16-18th century Poland there were few trials of blasphemy, including interferences into Church services or processions. the severe verdicts, capital punishment included, were rarely executed. The most frequently punished for an outrage against Catholic religious feelings were plebeians. No special attention was paid to the possible offences committed by noblemen and magnates. Thus, nothing happened to Erazm Otwinowski who in 1564 trampled on a monstrance torn out from a priest leading a procession. A Calvinist Marcin Kreza who also committed such an offence in 1580 went unpublished too. At the end of century Stefan Ċowejko, who publicly manifested his atheism, was not even imprisoned. Although in 1785 a young magnate Henryk Niemirycz, who publicly profaned a host, was sentenced to death. He survived because he left the country. As it shows a coat of arms usually was a good protection against the administration of justice, even in denominational matters.
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