Ruling party defends late Polish-born pope against sex-abuse accusations
Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party wants the Sejm, lower house of parliament, to adopt a resolution in defence of the late Pope John Paul II following media accusations that he had covered up child sex abuse in the Catholic Church when he was an archbishop.
"They had been fighting against John Paul II when he was alive and they have been fighting since his death," Rafal Bochenek, the PiS spokesman, told PAP on Thursday.
"Today, we, the parliamentarians, have to stand on the side of the truth and not a communist lie… to stand by values, by the hero of our freedom, Saint John Paul II," he continued, adding that the PiS-authored resolution was designed to serve this aim.
On Monday, private broadcaster TVN24 aired 'Franciszkanska 3,' a report by journalist Marcin Gutowski, which investigated the cases of three priests: Boleslaw Sadus, Eugeniusz Surgent and Jozef Loranc.
The report alleged that the then Metropolitan of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, 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.
Wojtyla 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.
"John Paul II is a great figure in the history of our nation," Bochenek said, adding that the late pope, who had been persecuted by the communist-era services, "today has again become the target of an unprecedented attack by a television station which was established by collaborators of the communist-era security service."
Bochenek stated that the TVN television station had prepared its story on the basis of fake reports authored by collaborators of the communist-era security police.
"This is not historical truth but simply a propaganda report based on a false thesis of the communist-era security services," Bochenek said.
Having repeated that John Paul II was an important figure in Poland's history, Bochenek said that he was a man who had been the first, also in the Church structures, to fight against paedophilia.