Polish church reels from new claims against John Paul II

National Catholic Reporter

November 16, 2020

By Jonathan Luxmoore

Warsaw, Poland – When a long-awaited report on the case of disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was published by the Vatican Nov. 10, it had a special resonance in Poland.

The extensive document highlighted mistakes by the last three popes, but particularly questioned judgments by St. John Paul II, a figure long considered beyond criticism in his homeland.

The role of the Polish pontiff’s long-serving secretary, retired Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, had been examined a day earlier by a Polish TV documentary, citing damning evidence that he connived in covering up sex abuse by Catholic clergy both in Rome and in Poland.

The revelations come during a hot autumn for Poland’s predominant Catholic Church, already facing multiple abuse-related investigations, the disgracing of its oldest cardinal and angry protests over its backing for new curbs on abortion.

How the church reacts now will be closely watched.

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