Polish Episcopate pledges it is tackling paedophilia
PR dla Zagranicy
Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak took part in a conference on Tuesday concerning reforms on how the Church is dealing with child abuse within its ranks.
From left: Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Secretary General of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate Bishop Artur Miziński and Father Adam Żak, coordinator of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate's Department for the Protection of Children. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Recently enforced regulations on how the Church combats child abuse were presented at the conference, in two separate documents.
Father Adam Żak, coordinator of the Conference of the Polish Episcopate's Department for the Protection of Children, said that the documentation “gives everyone - the public, believers, the clergy, but most of all victims – certainty regarding the law, the activities of the Church, and the principles upon which it is based.”
As of March 2015, a priest suspected of child abuse must be immediately suspended and psychological aid provided for an alleged victim, who is immediately informed of his or her right to file a complaint with a local prosecutor.
“The Church is interested in purifying itself,” Father Żak stressed.
“This is also one of the messages to the victims. Reporting harm is not regarded by the Church as 'bad action', only as an aid in cleansing.
The Church has been dogged by paedophilia scandals over the last two years, prompting the Episcopate to hold a special penitential mass in June 2014. (nh)