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Poland: bishops’ message on abuse. “We want child safety to become top priority”

“We must admit that we have not done everything in our power to prevent evil”, the Polish bishops said in the final message of the 22 May Permanent Council, which will be read out at all Masses next Sunday. “There are no words to express the shame we feel for sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the clergy”, the bishops said. Indeed, “the Church community in Poland has been shaken recently by many painful reports of sexual abuse of children and young people”. “These crimes are a source of great suffering for the victims, besides affecting families and ecclesial communities”, the prelates noted, referring to the movie by the Sekielski brothers “Tylko nie mow nikomu” (Tell No One) released on 11 May, documenting the testimonies of abuse victims. The bishops encourage those “who have been wronged by members of the Church” to report the facts, recalling that a contact person authorized to receive such reports has been appointed in every diocese. The message pledges greater attention to seminarians while also stressing the importance of the specific training introduced a few years ago for priests to better prevent child abuse crimes. “We want child safety to become a top priority”, the bishops said.

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