Polish bishops apologise for clerical abuse

Polish bishops apologise

Poland’s Catholic bishops have apologised for sexual abuse of children by priests and defended the Polish Church’s record on tackling abuse, reports CNS in The Catholic Herald.

During their plenary meeting in Warsaw, the bishops also announced that they had tightened procedures for handling abuse allegations.

“The paedophilia problem is appearing in schools, sports clubs and facilities for education and upbringing, but also, it pains us to admit, in Church circles,” the bishops’ conference said in a statement at the close of the meeting on Wednesday.

“We apologise for those clergy who have harmed children and are doing everything in our power so such situations are not repeated in future. We offer and will continue to offer pastoral and therapeutic help to harmed children and young people, and we stress there is no tolerance for paedophilia,” the bishops said. The statement called paedophilia a “most serious offence” that “cried to heaven for vengeance.”

It added that Polish society needed a “thorough education” on how to protect children, but said media coverage of paedophilia should respect privacy and avoid “harming third parties such as families, schools, parishes and clergy.”

Later, in a separate statement, the bishops said their record in response to clergy abuse allegations was appropriate and criticised what they called a “media campaign” against the Church in relation to such cases.

Photo: Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl

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