Polish Priest Tells about Colleague

Catholic Sentinel
February 2, 2012

A Polish priest testified that a man reported to him that he was sexually abused by the former rector of a parish in Kolobrzeg, Poland.

The testimony is believed to be the first by one cleric against another accused of sexual abuse in Poland. The trial comes amid growing complaints about the church’s lack of response to abuse allegations against clergy.

Leading Catholics, as well as representatives of Poland’s Children’s Rights office, have urged the church to adopt clear procedures for handling abuse claims in line with Vatican guidelines.

A Catholic journal reported the Polish church had no “information policy” or “norms of conduct” and lacked psychological checks for clergy and “transparent norms” for vetting employees.

The publication also cited a “lack of church-state cooperation” on abuse issues, and said church involvement with psychologists, psychiatrists and sexual behavior experts “left much to be desired.”

The archbishop-president of the Polish bishops’ conference said he favors a “policy of zero tolerance” and believed sexual offenses by priests should be “openly judged, with demands for reparations and damages.”

The archbishop also said the church should “show respect for the sinner” and explained that the media have failed to acknowledge that clergy were affected by a “contemporary pan-sexual culture,” which had “promoted homosexuality and other sexual disorders.”

At least 40 Polish priests have been convicted of abuse-related charges in the past decade. Most received suspended jail terms, although victims’ advocates have discovered that most continue serving in parishes and at times working with children.








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