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Weird religious school initiation ceremony 'not sexual'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 27.03.2013 12:14
A Polish Roman Catholic school's initiation ceremony, where pupils were compelled to lick whipped cream off a priest's knees, was not sexually motivated, claims an expert witness.

Photo from school's web site, now removed

Professor Zbigniew Lew-Starowicz, former chairman of the Polish Sexology Society, was requested to give his opinion to an ongoing investigation into an incident at a school in Lubin, southern Poland, in September 2012 where headmaster, Father Marcin Kozyra was photographed taking part in the strange ceremony.

The school, run by the Salesian Society, which maintains about a sixth of Poland's religious schools, quickly took the photograph off their web site after concern that the school children may have been lured into performing a sexual act on the headmaster.

“The expert assessed that there is no basis to conclude that the actions of pupils under the age of 15 during initiation ceremony games had a sexual character,” Liliana Lukasiewicz, spokesperson for the District Prosecutor's Office in Legnica, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“Nor is there reason to believe that the conduct of the head teacher was sexually motivated,” she added.

When photographs were published in the media last September, Father Marcin Kozyra said that the games were innocent and added that the ritual of “girls and boys touching shaving foam with their lips has been practised for many years.”

However, the Salesian Society in nearby Wroclaw ruled that no similar initiation ceremonies could take place at the Lubin school again.

Prosecutors have now questioned around 100 people in the investigation, including pupils, teachers and parents.

No charges have yet been brought against anyone in the school. (nh/pg)

tags: religion, schools
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