A documentary about pedophilia scandals have rocked Poland

A priest who molested for years, dozens of young boys and bishops who covered it up for years - what happened in the small town of Pleszew in Central Poland in

A documentary about pedophilia scandals have rocked Poland

A priest who molested for years, dozens of young boys and bishops who covered it up for years - what happened in the small town of Pleszew in Central Poland in the 1990s, reveals the documentary "The game of hide and seek," the authors Marek and Tomasz Sekielski. Already with her first Film on the subject of pedophilia in the Church exactly a year ago, the Two have broken one of the most important taboos in Poland.

Now you tell the fates of the brothers Jakub and Bartek Pankowiak, whose father was in the 1990-years Organist in the Church of Pleszew. The then parish priest Arkadiusz, popular among the youth, was a frequent guest at his home. But if the parents weren't looking, just, squeezing, stroking, and kisses the sons. Bartek and Jakub were horrified - lived, however, with your Drama alone for a long time.

confrontation with the tormentor

Only about 20 years later, she took the courage to tell their tormentors to visit and to look him in the face. "What do you think a child feels when it is kissed with the tongue behind closed doors?", Bartek asks the priest in the Film. The conversation is filmed with a hidden camera. "I know that I have touched in intimate places, and your erection felt - that you have touched me also and then I gifts for gifts", carries on Bartek. The pastor does not respond to the allegations. At the same time but he says that he would "feel guilty before God" and to pray every day.

Bartek and Jakub will also visit a nun who knew all the boys but never in protection took. During the visit of the two young men she seems confused and tried to explain with broken sentences, that you can then do nothing.

to go With his story to the Public, was for Jakub Pankowiak not easy. The most difficult has for the 35-Year-old done to tell his daughter. "I feel relieved, I dropped off the load of my shoulders. Unfortunately, I had to do it in public, it was the only way." He would have "no pleasure in the fact that the pastor ends up today about behind bars". That the whole of Poland learns about his guilt, was "sufficient penalty".

cover-up by bishops

The film authors found dozens of victims of priest of Pleszew. In 2016, the parents were looking for one of the victims of the confrontation. The pastor pleaded to blame: "I am aware that I have offended your son," he says, and adds that it "is the fault of the devil that destroys everything sacred in man". He also says that the Bishop had known everything. The conversation was recorded.

As Bishop Edward Janiak of the Meeting learned, suspended he a pastor Arkadiusz immediately. Official reason: health problems. The Church court initiated no investigation. Four years later, after the premiere of the film "The game of hide and seek", has to bear the blame for the cover-up on the victim. In a Statement, the diocese of Kalisz, the town of Pleszew, it is said, the sacrifices of self to the abuse sign up, then you would have informed the Vatican. By Bishop Edward Janiak, no excuses.

However, according to the film premiere of Public pressure grows and even within the Church. The episcopate, with shares in the short term, Bishop Janiak will refrain from now on to bigger shows. In the case of the ordination of priests on the last Saturday (23.05.) in the Cathedral of Kalisz, he was replaced by another Bishop who, according to media reports, for years, abuse is covered up. Said to the young priests, he said, that the sins of the clergy wehtäten him - but in certain situations, Silence was of the essence. Journalists trying to report on the event, were not established in the Church.

Poland call for clarification

Officially, the Polish episcopate shows indignant. Poland's Primate Wojciech Polak calls for investigations by the Vatican. He had already done after the first Film the brothers Sekielski a year ago - but until now, no awareness of the abuse cases took place in the Polish Church. In a report, the Church issued under pressure from the Public in 2019, from just under 400 cases since 1990, the speech. However, neither the name of the responsible priests were called, nor is there information about how many cases of ecclesiastical and civilian courts were dealt with.

According to recent surveys, about 70 percent of Poland, the authorities are calling for tougher action against pedophile priests. Even in Catholic circles one hears more and more frequently, demands for a comprehensive education.

paedophilia should be.

explores The fierce debate about the documentary of the brothers Sekielski, the have seen on YouTube, in the meantime, almost 6.5 million people, forcing the authorities to reactions The country Prosecutor's office informed that the investigation against the pastor Arkadiusz from Pleszew have been running since the autumn of 2019. The ruling party PiS wants to call a Committee of inquiry into life - but not only for pedophilia in the Church, but in all Parts of the society.

The claim of a group of left-wing member of a Committee, the Parliament rejected. The fear now is that in the government's Committee on abuse by a priest as a peripheral phenomenon. The number of members of a special protection of the state, the representatives of the Church in Catholic Poland would enjoy. An example: in the pedophile Register of the government of 2018 no name of the clergy to. It means that their deeds would not belong to the most serious paedophilia cases in the country.

author: Monika Sieradzka

*The contribution "A documentary about pedophilia scandals have rocked Poland," published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 26 May 2020, 19:27

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