Poland is shocked by pedophilia documentary

Poland Catholic Clergy Pedophilia

Title: Poland is shocked by pedophilia documentary

Author:‏ Monika Sieradzka

Publisher: DW

Date: 27MAY2020

The Primate of Poland has informed the Vatican about new cases of pedophilia uncovered in a recent documentary. The Church and government are both under pressure following the revelation of what happened to the victims.

A priest sexually abused dozens of boys for years, and for years bishops covered it up. “Hide and Seek,” a documentary by Marek and Tomasz Sekielski, reveals that this was what happened in the 1990s in the small town of Pleszew in central Poland. The filmmakers made their first film about pedophilia in the Church exactly one year ago, and in doing so broke one of Poland’s biggest taboos.

This time, they tell the stories of the brothers Jakub and Bartek Pankowiak, whose father was the church organist in Pleszew in the 1990s. The parish priest at the time, Arkadiusz, was well-liked by the local youth and a frequent guest at the Pankowiaks’ house — but when the parents weren’t looking he would cuddle, caress, and kiss their sons. Bartek and Jakub were appalled, but did not confide in anyone for years about what had happened to them.

Confrontation with their abuser

It was only 20 years later that they were able to muster the courage to track down their abuser and look him in the eye. “What do you think a child feels when he’s being French kissed behind closed doors?” Bartek asks the priest in the film. Their conversation is being filmed with a hidden camera. “I remember that I touched you intimately and felt your erection — that you touched me, too, and gave me presents in exchange,” Bartek goes on. The priest doesn’t respond to the accusations. He does, however, say that he feels “guilty before God,” and that he prays every day.

Bartek and Jakub also visit a nun who knew what was going on back then but never tried to protect the boys. During the young men’s visit she appears confused. She tries to explain, in broken sentences, that there was nothing she could have done at the time

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