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Poland: Bishops’ Conference publishes “Position paper on John Paul II’s action on sexual crimes against minors”

“It is indisputable that John Paul II was a Pope who, in line with the knowledge acquired, engaged in a determined fight against child abuse by some priests and introduced mandatory standards for all Churches to deal with this type of crime”. Thus ends the “Position paper on John Paul II’s action on sexual crimes against minors” released by the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops today. The paper is intended to refute the allegations that the Pope did not address the problem correctly or adequately “or even covered it up”. According to the Bishops, “a look” at the work of John Paul II should take into account the historical context, the knowledge of the time, and the conditions in which he lived. The document lists and shows “the coherence of the actions taken by him”, pointing out that due to the “mindset of discretion that was prevalent in the Church at that time”, “even though actions were taken, there was also a prevailing fear and resistance to communicating them in a transparent way”. Specifically, in the McCarrick affair, the Polish Bishops wonder “to what extent John Paul II was duly informed” and “to what extent some decisions were taken without his knowledge”. John Paul II, the paper concludes, “has initiated a very important process of cleansing the Church in this area, which continues to this day”.

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