Influential Polish priest accused of excusing child abuse and violating Covid rules

Notes from Poland

December 8, 2020

An influential priest and ally of Poland’s ruling party has said that he is “sorry for causing pain” if anyone “misunderstood” recent remarks on clerical paedophilia.

During a mass on Saturday, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk appeared to suggest that such crimes were the result of priests understandably giving in to “temptation”. He also referred to a bishop accused of covering up abuse as a “modern martyr” who has been victimised by the media.

Meanwhile, the event at which he spoke – marking the 29th birthday of Radio Maryja, the controversial broadcaster founded by Rydzyk – is being investigated by the sanitary authorities for apparent breaches of government coronavirus restrictions. Among those in attendance were the justice and defence ministers.

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