Warsaw (AFP) – Poland's powerful Catholic Church released a report on Thursday that nearly 400 members of its clergy have sexually abused children and minors in the last three decades, reflecting findings published last month. by a charitable organization focused on church abuse.
The Polish Bishops' Conference indicated in its report that 382 clergy had sexually abused a total of 624 victims, 198 of whom were under the age of 15 and 184 were adolescents aged between 15 and 18 years.
The statistical report covering the period 1990 to 2018 did not include the authors' names.
"We know that this is still only the visible part of the iceberg," told the Jesuit journalist Adam Zak, coordinator of the Polish Bishops' Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. youth, at a press conference in Warsaw.
"The Church must be irreproachable and firm in the stigmatization of evil, but she must also show mercy to the perpetrators as they strive to be transformed into themselves," she said. they regret it (their actions), "Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski told reporters in Warsaw.
The archbishops who spoke at the press conference insisted that pedophilia was not limited to the Catholic Church and that the majority of abuse was perpetrated in families.
"Nevertheless, even if there was only one victim (of religious aggression), this can only cause pain and shame," he told reporters. Polish primate, Archbishop Wojciech Polak.
In February, a charity supporting the victims of pedophile priests in Poland published a groundbreaking report of nearly 400 cases of sexual abuse by clergy in this country, which is firmly Catholic.
Activists of the "Do not Be Afraid" Foundation presented the 27-page document to Pope Francis at a rally of the world's greatest Catholic Bishops at a Vatican summit dedicated to the issue of abuse. sexual acts committed by religious.
Liberal opposition politician Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, who played a key role in drafting the report on the victims, said Thursday that the Polish church's report "spit on" the victims .
"Today, the episcopate (…) is defended as an institution, defended the perpetrators and did not take the side of the victims," he said. she said, adding that the church had not solved the problem of victim compensation.
The foundation's report details the cases of 85 priests convicted of pedophilia, 88 others whose allegations of ill-treatment were revealed by the media and 95 others accused by alleged victims.
The report also mentions 24 Polish archbishops and bishops accused of concealing abuses.