Polish bishop lashes out at archbishop for reporting abuse cover-up to Vatican


June 17, 2020

By Paulina Guzik

A bishop at the center of a documentary on sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Poland has tried to defend himself, but has only generated more controversy.

The film “Hide and Seek” documented a dramatic case of abuse of power by Bishop Edward Janiak of Kalisz in central Poland. In 2016, when a family visited him to report that their son was abused by their parish priest, Janiak expelled them from his office and didn’t report the case to the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, as the law required.

The documentary was released on May 16, and on the same day Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Primate of Poland and Delegate of Child Protection at the Polish Bishops Conference, reported the case to the Holy See through the Vatican embassy, using the procedure outlined in a new Vatican law – Vos Estis Lux Mundi – which was promulgated by Pope Francis on June 1, 2019. It was the first time the law had been utilized in Poland.

Janiak responded with a June 13 letter to the Polish bishops rejecting the accusations and attacking Polak for reporting him.

Now Janiak has two problems: The letter was leaked to the media, and was filled with factual errors.

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