Poland becomes testing ground for Vatican’s new anti-abuse legislation


October 15, 2020

By Paulina Guzik

In 1984 in the town of Międzybrodzie in southwestern Poland, a boy was abused by the local parish priest for more than five years, beginning when he was 12. Today, more than thirty-six years later, he is still looking for justice.

“Abuse was only one station in my personal way of the cross,” he wrote in a letter to Pope Francis last week.

The investigation into the case not only involved the accused priest and his bishop – the now retired Tadeusz Rakoczy – but might also involve Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, the longtime secretary of Pope John Paul II, who later served as Archbishop of Krakow from 2005-2016.

The Diocese of Bielsko–Żywiec, where the abuse happened, is in the Krakow ecclesiastical province.

A Polish priest is now accusing the cardinal of being informed about the case in 2012 in his role as metropolitan archbishop and doing nothing about it. The cardinal denies the accusations, and so far there is no concrete evidence that he knew about the abuse.

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