Gov't spokesman says US envoy invited after critical report on late pope
The US ambassador to Poland was invited to the Foreign Ministry after an American-owned TV company broadcast a report alleging that Pope John Paul II helped cover up child sex abuse before he became pope, the government spokesman has said.
Mark Brzezinski visited the Foreign Ministry on Thursday after the TVN broadcaster, which is owned by the US media conglomerate Discovery, aired its report investigating the cases of three priests under the authority of the then metropolitan of Kraków, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who later became Pope John Paul II.
The report authors alleged that Wojtyła allowed the priests to continue working in the Church despite knowing of their abuses and may even have helped to cover them up.
Pope John Paul II is one of the most revered figures in Polish history so the allegation triggered a furious response from members of the government.
Law and Justice, the ruling party, quickly prepared a parliamentary resolution condemning the "disgraceful hate campaign in the media" against the late pope, which was passed on Thursday evening.
"When we have any issues that we want to clear up between partners, then we simply talk," Piotr Mueller, the government spokesman, told reporters on Friday.
"We consider the Americans... as perhaps our most important ally when it comes to security," Mueller went on to say. "Therefore, when we have any doubts, we talk to our partners."
The Foreign Ministry said in an earlier statement that the ambassador was invited "in relation to the activities by one TV station." The ambassador was received by Piotr Wawrzyk, a deputy foreign minister.
Mueller also went on to allege that the report could be part of the Russian and Belarusian hybrid war.
"Different activities that could make the impression of exerting influence, including by Russia, for example when it comes to the narrative about the Polish-Belarusian border, are an element of a hybrid and disinformation war," Mueller said.
Poland has recently been accused by German media of human rights abuse when it comes to the treatment of migrants, mostly from Middle East and Africa, on the Polish-Belarusian border.