Polish Catholics urge Pope to tackle paedophilia cover-ups



A Polish group of lay Catholics have  appealed to Pope Francis to repair the Church and investigate instances of bishops covering up for priests, who sexually abused children.

The group, ‘Enough Harm’ published a full-page crowd funded ad in the Italian daily La Repubblica on Monday, asking the Pope to “look with kindness on the Church in Poland where cases of paedophilia have occurred’’.

“The Episcopate and the Apostolic Nuncio are pretending not to see this,’’ Enough Harm said on its website.

The idea to address the pope through Italian media appeared after protests in front of the church administrative buildings in Poland and a meeting with the papal nuncio, the equivalent of an ambassador for the Vatican yielded no results, Justyna Zorn, one of the initiators of the letter to Francis, told dpa on Tuesday.

A recent documentary ‘Playing Hide and Seek’, which tackles the Polish church’s inadequate response to accusations against paedophile priests, also acted as a catalyst, she added.

“The Pope is informed of the appeal and the Church must do everything possible so that cases of abuse are brought to light and those guilty of these serious crimes are punished,’’ the Director of the Holy See Press Office said.

But Zorn would also like to see bishops made accountable.

“Penal, civil or canonical trials against paedophile priests are happening,’’ she said but “the problem is that no civil or canonical action is taken’’ against bishops who are guilty of irregularities in handling accusations against their subordinate priests.

“Bishops remain unaccountable and this is outrageous,’’ Zorn said.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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