Polish Bishops to present data on abuse of minors by clergy

Statistics on the abuse of minors by clergy in Poland will be presented on Thursday, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the leader of the Polish Episcopate’s Conference (KEP) announced on Tuesday.

The 382nd Plenary Assembly of the KEP that began in Warsaw will mark a turning point on the subject of paedophilia by Catholic clergymen.

According to the Archbishop, the abuse of minors is acknowledged by Pope Francis as a social problem, which requires an answer from both the church and world authorities.

“At 2 pm on Thursday during a press conference, we will try to present… all the data [on child abuse by Catholic priests - ed.] gathered by the KEP Secretary starting from 1990. The data has been prepared by the Statistical Institute of the Catholic Church under its chairman priest Wojciech Sadłoń,” said the Archbishop, adding that the document is ready.

He also said that following the meeting of KEP heads with Pope Francis, new light has been shed on the subject. Archbishop Gądecki stressed that until recently the public focused on sexual abuse of minors by the Church while disregarding the mistreatment of children in other environments. “Attempts at designing a sort of slogan and a stereotype [that blackens the clergy - ed.] have been repeatedly made.”

“The Holy Father pointed to a much broader problem in the whole Church, the whole society and, actually, the whole globalised world. He talked about 18 mln abused children in Europe alone and 83 mln in the whole world, referring not only to sexual mistreatment by priests but also sex-tourism, slave labour of minors and using children as child soldiers. Practically speaking, the Pope introduced a much broader perspective than the one we referred to until recently,” stressed the Archbishop.