Parliament condemns critical media reports on Polish-born pope
The Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, has passed a resolution condemning what it called "a disgraceful hate campaign in the media" against the Polish-born Pope John Paul II.
On Monday, private broadcaster TVN24 aired 'Franciszkanska 3,' 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 stirred up emotion in the Catholic country that reveres its world-famous compatriot.
In the resolution passed on Thursday and initiated by the conservative ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, the MPs said: "The Sejm of the Republic of Poland strongly condemns the disgraceful hate campaign in the media, largely based on materials created by the apparatus of oppression of communist Poland, which has targeted the Great Pope - Saint John Paul II, the greatest Pole in history.
"His words and actions demonstrated and aroused love of the Motherland by actively supporting the Polish nation in its striving to regain freedom and become an independent state," the resolution reads.
The MPs said that the media report was "an attempt to discredit John Paul II with materials that even communists did not dare to use."
The MPs also cited a previous resolution naming 2020 The Year of John Paul II:
"Saint John Paul II occupies a special place in the history of Poland and Europe. His strong advocacy for the right of our motherland to freedom among European nations, His practical defence of the rights of our nation, have made the Holy Father the most important founding father of Poland's independence."
The MPs went on to say that the pope's teachings remained important guidelines for social life.
The resolution was supported by 271 MPs in the 460-member lower house, 43 were against and four abstained.
Wojtyła served as archbishop of Krakow from 1964 to 1978, when he became Pope John Paul II. He died in 2005 and was declared a saint in 2014 following a fast-tracked process.