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Poland: Bishops’ Conference creates Child Protection Office. “Systemic response to abuse”

“I hope that the Church’s response to child sexual abuse victims will be increasingly systemic and will be implemented in all Church activities”, said Fr. Piotr Studnicki, the head of the Child Protection Office that opened its doors at the Polish Bishops’ Conference a few days ago, on 2 September. The Office, that assists Mgr. Wojciech Polak, Primate of Poland and Delegate for the Protection of Children of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, aims, first of all, “to draw up concrete and comprehensive measures to support the victims” since “this will be the test of our credibility”, Fr. Studnicki stressed. “We must do everything we can to facilitate contacts between the victims and the delegates serving in the dioceses and in the different religious congregations”, he remarked, highlighting the importance of both effective “psychological, legal and spiritual support” and “the material contributions actually received by those who need them”. The priest also noted that the aid “should help the victims get back on their feet”. There is also a need to “develop a prevention system involving all those who work with children and young people. And while the Polish Parliament is debating the creation of a special commission to deal with child abuse cases, it is also crucially important for the Church to improve mutual communication patterns between Church institutions and abuse victims.

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