The news is out: [WARSAW (Reuters) – As many as 382 children were sexually abused by clergy in Poland between 1990 and 2018, according to findings presented on Thursday by the Polish Catholic Church in one of the most devout countries in Europe.
The report follows investigations into widespread abuse of minors by clergy in other countries – notably in Chile, the United States, Australia and Ireland – that have shaken the Roman Catholic Church to its foundations.
“This is an especially painful, tragic issue as it is connected with consecrated people, who devoted themselves to serving the church, other human beings. They have social trust and this social trust was so tragically violated,” Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski said at a news conference.
Polish bishops last year asked victims of past clerical abuse for forgiveness and began collecting data to “identify the causes of these deeds and assess their scale”.
The report said as many as 198 of the victims were below the age of 15.
Last month the Polish charity “Have no fear”, which supports abuse victims, delivered its own report to Pope Francis in which it calculated – purely on the basis of media reports collated since the mid-1950s – that at least 384 minors had been sexually abused by clergy in Poland.
Activists say the real figure is probably much greater.]
They have the key to heaven.