Polish diocese apologises to sex abuse victim for his court questions

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Polish diocese apologises for asking whether or not sex abuse victim was homosexual or if he loved ‘intimate’ moments with Catholic priest when he was being assaulted

  • Bielsko-Zywiec diocese apologised for asking whether or not a sex abuse victim was homosexual or loved the ‘intimate’ moments
  • Victim, Janusz Szymik, 48, was an altar boy when the abuse started within the Nineteen Eighties
  • Poland’s Catholic bishops had already strongly criticised the southern diocese
  • The offender, solely recognized as Rev. Jan W., was convicted by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith 

By Associated Press Reporter

Published: | Updated:

A Catholic diocese in Poland apologised on Thursday for having requested a court to decide whether or not a person who was sexually abused as a baby by a priest is homosexual, and whether or not the sexual contact could have consequently been pleasurable for him.

Following large criticism, the Bielsko-Zywiec diocese stated that its letter to the court shouldn’t have included questions concerning the victim’s sexuality or have prompt that he drew pleasure from contact with the priest. The diocese dispatched the letter in response to a lawsuit by the victim, Janusz Szymik.

‘We apologise to Janusz and to all who’ve been scandalised’ by the questions, the diocese stated in an announcement, vowing to change the letter’s wording.

Bielsko-Zywiec diocese in Poland apologised for asking whether or not a sex abuse victim was homosexual or loved the ‘intimate’ moments

Poland’s Catholic bishops had already strongly criticised the southern Polish diocese.

Szymik, who’s now 48, was an altar boy when the abuse started within the Nineteen Eighties. He sued the diocese in a civil court final year.

The priest, who has been recognized solely as Rev. Jan W., admitted to the abuse and in 2015 was convicted by the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Szymik is now looking for 3 million zlotys ($760,000) in compensation from the diocese.

The Onet information portal earlier this week disclosed the contents of paperwork it obtained which a lawyer for the church had submitted to the court. The paperwork present the church wanting an knowledgeable “to check the plaintiff’s sexual orientation” and to decide whether or not he “showed satisfaction with maintaining an intimate relationship with Rev. Jan W.” or derived any “material benefits” from the sexual relationship with the cleric.

Rev. Piotr Studnicki, the director of a particular office for the safety of kids inside the Polish Bishops’ Conference, stated in an announcement issued on Wednesday that “reliable knowledge and human sensitivity” are obligatory to any authorized process.

“The issue of sexual orientation or the way a child reacts emotionally to an offense of sexual abuse cannot constitute an argument against the injured person and diminish the responsibility of the perpetrator,” Studnicki stated. “It must be clear to everyone that a child never bears responsibility for violence experienced.”

Szymik expressed shock about how the case has turned, noting that Bishop Roman Pindel of Bielsko-Zywiec had beforehand proven compassion towards him for the abuse he suffered as a baby.

“Previously, he expressed pain and regret and asked for forgiveness, and now he wants to prove … that I am a homosexual person, that pedophilia gave me pleasure, that everything that happened was voluntary, that I benefited from it,” Szymik stated in an interview on the all-news station TVN24.

The growth comes as Pope Francis has been attempting to clear up a tradition of abuse and cover-ups within the Polish church.

The Catholic Church was lengthy the very best ethical authority in Poland, having performed an inspirational function throughout occupation and overseas rule and supporting the anti-communist Solidarity motion within the Nineteen Eighties.

But the current reckoning of abuse has broken its credibility. Even Poland’s most well-known Catholic, St. John Paul II, now has his legacy tarnished by his personal failure to deal with abuse when he was pope.

One of the nation’s high church leaders, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the primate of Poland, stated just lately that the church is seeing a “devastating” decline in spiritual observe amongst younger Poles, arguing that the church hierarchy’s failure to cope with clerical abuse is one cause for that.

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