Episcopate to set up team to help child sexual abuse victims
The Polish Episcopal Conference has decided to form a special team to examine the practice of solving problems connected with cases of child sexual abuse by priests in the past.
While doing their job, team experts "will also take into account the reliability of documents of the communist-era security police," reads a communique issued after the 394th plenary meeting of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate on Tuesday.
"The bishops plan to form such a team for the sake of the victims," the communique read.
"I hope that this team and its work will become true aid for the wronged people who deserve the truth," Poland's Primate Archbishop Wojciech Polak said.
The archbishop added that the decision to set up the team had been taken unanimously.
Referring to the recent reports accusing the late Pope John Paul II of covering up child sex abuse in the Catholic Church when he was an archbishop in the Polish city of Kraków, the bishops appealed "for honouring the memory of one of the most outstanding Poles."
Last week, a private television TVN24 aired a report by journalist Marcin Gutowski, which investigated the cases of three priests: Bolesław Saduś, Eugeniusz Surgent and Józef Loranc.
The report alleged that the then Metropolitan of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who later became Pope John Paul II, knew about cases of child sex abuse by the three priests under his authority but allowed them to continue working in the church and may even have helped to cover it up.
The report also included statements by Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek, author of the book 'Maxima Culpa.'
"John Paul II's canonisation process leaves no doubts regarding his holiness," the Polish bishops wrote.
They had also expressed their gratitude to all the people who had been standing in defence of the Saint Pope's good name since the very beginning.