By Marcin Goclowski
WARSAW (Reuters) – Nearly 382 children were sexually assaulted by clergy in Poland between 1990 and 2018, according to findings presented Thursday by the Polish Catholic Church in one of the country's most devout nations. ;Europe.
The report follows investigations into widespread abuse of minors by clergy in other countries – including Chile, the United States, Australia and Ireland – who upset the government. Roman Catholic Church.
"This is a particularly painful and tragic problem because it concerns the consecrated persons who are dedicated to serving the church and other human beings.They have social trust and this social trust has been violated in a tragic way, "Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski told a new conference.
Last year, Polish bishops apologized to victims of abuse in the past and began collecting data to "identify the causes of these acts and assess their extent".
According to the report, 198 victims were under 15 years old.
Last month, the Polish charity "Have no fear", which supports victims of abuse, handed Pope Francis his own report in which he calculated – on the basis of information collected by the media since the mid-1950s – that at least 384 minors had been victims of sexual assault. mistreated by the clergy in Poland.
Activists say the real number is probably much bigger.
The charity called for the creation of a committee to investigate the true magnitude of the problem, ensuring access to church documents regarding abuse of minors and dismissing bishops as responsible for concealing sex crimes.
In Poland, Catholic priests often suspect Catholic priests of having invented false accusations even long after the culprit has been jailed.
Poland remains one of the most dedicated countries in Europe. Nearly 85% of Poland's 38 million inhabitants say they are Catholics and about 12 million people attend Mass every Sunday.
But Polish religious authorities have not yet reached a consensus on how to deal with the problem of sexual abuse.
A church organ has taken legal action in the Supreme Court to cancel a payment of one million zlotys ($ 263,000) ordered by a lower court to a woman who had been repeatedly raped by his local priest.
The case was a landmark decision on the compensation and repo of the victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in Poland.
(Report by Marcin Goclowski, edited by Gareth Jones and Toby Chopra)