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Polish Episcopate criticises Church child abuse book

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 02.02.2013 12:27
Poland's Episcopate has criticised a new book that claims the Church is not addressing the problem of paedophilia in its ranks.

Father Jozef Kloch: photo - Polish Radio

The book, Be Afraid: Victims of Paedophilia by the Catholic Church Speak (Lekajcie sie. Ofiary pedofilii w polskim kosciele mowią) by Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek, explores 27 cases of alleged child abuse by Polish priests.

However, in a statement released on the Episcopate's official web site, press spokesman Father Jozef Kloch claimed that the book is “full of holes like Swiss cheese,”and ignores new developments.

“The author disregards matters and he does not listen to what does not tie in with his assertions,” Kloch argued.

“He omits certain important facts, particularly concerning what the Church has done and is doing to prevent paedophilia,” he added.

Father Kloch claimed that a code adopted at the plenary session of the Episcopate in March 2012 is a notable omission from Overbeek's book.

The code, which follows that of the Vatican, specified procedures for dealing with complaints against alleged child abusers within the Church.

Kloch reiterated the slogan announced at a press briefing following the 2012 session:

“Zero tolerance for paedophiles, full protection for victims and their families.”

Nevertheless, Overbeek has argued that a climate of fear prevents victims from talking about the abuse they suffered, not least due the prominent stature of priests in Poland.

“You have to have a lot of courage to talk about it, especially in small towns,” the journalist told TOK FM.

“I saw for myself how two victims were treated. It was not pleasant,” he said. (nh)

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