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Abuse: Mgr. Gadecki (Polish Bishops’ Conference), “firm determination to clean up the Church from these offences”

“We are firmly determined to clean up the Church from child sexual abuse offences”, the president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, mgr. Stanislaw Gadecki, stated last night, as he presented the “Position of the Polish Bishops’ Conference about child sexual abuse by some members of the clergy”. Mgr. Gadecki pointed out that the document assumed the protection of children and adolescents to be an undeniable part of the mission of the Church and mentioned that since 2011 the Polish Church has been implementing specific procedures, which among other things require close cooperation with the governmental authorities. “Sadly, we must say that even in Poland there have been cases of child sexual abuse by some members of the clergy and by people working within the Church”, says the document, which also contains a request for forgiveness addressed “to God, to the abused people, to their families and to all the ecclesial community for the harm done to children and young people by priests, consecrated persons and lay people working within the church”. The document urges “all those who have been abused to report such facts to the ecclesiastic superiors and to the governmental authorities” and points out that, since 2014, people trained in receiving reports of sexual abuse have been working in every Polish diocese and in many religious provinces.

The document emphasises that the many training courses for priests “are slowly but effectively driving a change in attitudes and mentality”. At the end the document calls to “build a culture that aims at doing what is really in children’s and young people’s interest”, while it asks the offenders to “search their conscience, to admit their responsibilities and to humbly repent”.

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