WARSAW (Reuters) – A Polish charity that helps victims of abuse committed by Catholic priests on Thursday accused 24 bishops of concealing the perpetrators of sexual assaults on minors.
The charity "Have No Fear" made this allegation in a report made public as Pope Francis convened Catholic leaders from around the world to discuss scandals about child sexual abuse. by priests who have ravaged the credibility of the Church over the last three decades.
The report, which was given to the pope, designated Polish bishops who she said had "concealed religious crimes and transferred pedophile priests from one parish to another".
He added: "Despite the fact that almost every day the Polish media reports that the clergy have abused children, the bishops still do not do anything about it."
A spokesman for the Polish episcopate refused to comment immediately.
The four-day conference at the Vatican, dedicated to "the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults", aims to help reduce the tempo of attempts to coordinate a global response to the crisis.
The NGO "Have no Fear" also stated that some representatives of the Church still did not report the sexual crimes committed by religious clerics to Polish prosecutors.
Led by Marek Lisinski, a former victim of religious abuse, the charity hopes his report will trigger the resignation of senior church officials in a deeply Catholic Poland.
In Chile, last year, all the bishops of the country submitted their resignations to the pope for widespread concealment of sexual abuse. Francis accepted seven resignations and dismissed two others from the priesthood.
In Poland, victims of abuse by priests are often accused of false accusations, even long after their incarceration, Catholic priests enjoying high social prestige.
"We demand the opening of the archives of the Polish Church and the provision to the law enforcement authorities of all information about the culprits, because the Church can not be above the law," said Have No Fear in his report.
Report by Marcin Goclowski; Edited by Mark Heinrich