Left party demands checks on Church-run children's homes after scandal

The New Left party has called for inspections at care institutions run by the Catholic Church after a news website wrote about cases of abuse at a home for disabled children in southern Poland.

Wirtualna Polska wrote on Monday about the alleged mistreatment of disabled children at a care home in Jordanow near Krakow by the facility's nuns and employees. The abuse involved tying residents to beds, locking them in a cage and hitting them with a mop.

The whistle-blowers included the institution's employees and the children's parents.

"The report is really shocking because it concerns the weak and defenceless that deserve professional care," said New Left MP Maciej Gdula.

"What they got instead was violence, torture and torment," he added.

According to Gdula, state institutions have failed to fulfil their duties.

Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska, a New Left member, said the abuse had been taking place for years.

"Our state bodies yet again took fright at contact with the Catholic Church, they became absolutely paralysed," Diduszko-Zyglewska said, adding that the provincial governor and police had not reacted despite earlier reports on the abuse.

Gdula said he would request an extraordinary inspection of the care home by the provincial governor.

"We'll be asking the prosecutors questions about how the case is progressing," he added.

"We also demand inspections at all social care homes, children's homes and other institutions run by the Church," Gdula said.

According to Wirtualna Polska, the prosecutors have already charged Sister Alberta and her superior, care home director Sister Bronislawa, after a nun beat up a 13-year-old girl.

Poland's ombudsman has also launched proceedings into the case and asked the provincial governor for explanations.