2021-04-04 19:54:32 UTC
In 2013 a succession of child sex abuse scandals within the church, and the poor response by the church, became a matter of widespread public concern. The church resisted demands to pay compensation to victims. On 27 September 2018, however, Bishop Romuald Kamiński of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga stated that Polish church leaders were working on a document, to be published later, on priestly sexual abuse of minors in Poland, and ways to prevent it. Cases were being evaluated by Warsaw courts, and the priests involved were banned from working with minors; three were suspended from all pastoral work. According to Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the head of Poland's Catholic Church, the document will include data on the scale of priestly sex abuse in Poland.
On 8 October 2018, a victims group mapped out 255 cases of alleged sex abuse in Poland.
On 11 May 2019, Polak issued an apology on behalf of the entire Catholic Church in Poland. The same day, Tell No One, a documentary detailing accounts of sex abuse by Catholic church workers in Poland, went viral, obtaining 8.1 million viewers on YouTube by 13 May. The film accused former Polish leader Lech Walesa's personal priest Franciszek Cybula, who is now deceased, of sexual abuse and noted that he transferred between parishes. The film also alleges that Rev. Dariusz Olejniczak, a priest who was sentenced for molesting 7-year-old girls, was allowed to continue working with young people despite his conviction. On 14 May 2019, Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has long had an alliance with the nation's Catholic Bishops, agreed to increase penalties for child sex abuse by raising the maximum prison sentence from 12 years to 30 years and raising the age of consent from 15 to 16. Prosecutor and PiS lawmaker Stanislaw Piotrowicz, who heads the Polish Parliament's Justice Commission, has also been criticized for playing down the actions of a priest who was convicted for inappropriately touching and kissing young girls.
On 16 May 2020, Polak asked the Vatican to investigate sex abuse claims involving brothers Marek and Tomasz Sekielski. The two brothers released a popular YouTube documentary titled Hide and Seek, which detailed their allegations that they were molested a Polish Catholic priest. Polak expressed support towards the allegations, stating "The film... shows that protection standards for children and adolescents in the Church were not respected."
Diocese of Kielce
In Tell No One a priest known as Father Jan A., who served the Diocese of Kielce in the village of Topola, confessed to molesting a young girl.
Diocese of Opole
In 2018 the Bishop of Opole, Andrzej Czaja in a letter to the faithful read at all masses in the diocese on Sunday, 7 October, apologized to the victims and admitted that 6 priest from his diocese were found guilty of sexual abuse against minors.
Archdiocese of Poznań
In March 2002 the Archbishop of Poznań, Juliusz Paetz, stepped down following accusations, which he denied, of sexually molesting young priests.
Diocese of Kalisz
On 25 June 2020, Pope Francis ordered bishop Edward Janiak, age 67, to resign from his duties as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalisz for protecting priests who committed acts of sex abuse. He appointed Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś of Łódź as apostolic administrator sede plena, which means he has full administrative authority. On 17 October 2020, Pope Francis accepted Janiak's resignation from the diocese.
Diocese of Płock
In early 2007 allegations surfaced that former bishop Stanislaw Wielgus (later very briefly Archbishop of Warsaw) was aware that several priests in his former diocese of Płock were sexually abusing minors.
Diocese of Warsaw-Praga
On 27 September 2018, Warsaw-Praga Bishop Romuald Kamiński apologized to those who had been victims of sexual abuse in his Diocese.
Archdiocese of Gdansk
In 2019, three protestors toppled a statue of Rev. Henryk Jankowski following revelations that he sexually Barbara Borowiecka when she was a girl. Jankowski, who also had a criminal investigation involving the sexual abuse of a boy dropped against him in 2004, had been defrocked in 2005. However, he died in 2010 without ever being convicted of sex abuse. It has also been acknowledged that Lech Walsea's personal chaplain Rev. Franciszek Cybula had been accused of committing acts of sex abuse while serving in the as well. On 13 August 2020, Pope Francis removed Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glodz, who was among those who covered up abuse committed by Jankowski and Cybula. Glodz had also presided over Cybula's funeral Despite the fact that Glodz turned 75, the required age for Catholic Bishops to offer their resignation, the move was described as "cleaning house," as it is highly unusual for the pope to accept such a resignation on a prelate's actual birthday.
Archdiocese of Wroclaw
On 6 November 2020, The Holy See's nuncio to Poland announced that following an investigation by the Holy See regarding sex abuse allegations, Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz was now "barred from any kind of celebration or public meeting and from using his episcopal insignia, and is deprived of the right to a cathedral funeral and burial." Gulbinowicz was also ordered to pay an "appropriate sum" to his alleged victims. Gulbinowicz is the former archbishop of Wroch, whose support of the trade union Solidarity played a critical role in the collapse of communism in Poland. On 16 November 2020, 10 days after the Vatican, Gulbinowicz, but, as a result of the Vatican displinary action, could not have a funeral in Wroclaw's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist or to be buried in the cathedral.