Polish Plea Pope Francis
Title: Polish group seeks pope’s action against sex abuse, cover-up
Author: Nicole Winfield
AP correspondent Monika Scislowska contributed from Warsaw, Poland.
Publisher: Insider via Associated Press
ROME (AP) — The Vatican says Pope Francis has been informed about an appeal launched by a group of Catholics in Poland urging intervention into cases where bishops have continued to cover up for priests who sexually molest children.
The group “EnoughHarm” took out a full-page advertisement on Monday in Rome daily La Repubblica, addressed to the pope. It urged Francis to “repair our church” and heal the wounds of abuse victims.
“The lack of a decisive reaction by the church hierarchy to reports of reprehensible behavior by some bishops is cause for public scandal and harms the good of the church,” the ad said. “It harms its unity, because it divides those who are concerned for the image of the institution and those who have the good of victims at heart.”
Largely Roman Catholic Poland has become the latest country to face a reckoning of sexual abuse by priests and cover-up by their superiors. The scandal has hit particularly hard in Poland given the church’s enormous authority and influence in all aspects of life and the pride of many Poles in their native son, St. John Paul II.
Two recent documentaries, however, have cast a spotlight on individual cases of abuse and how bishops ignored victims, discredited their claims and shuttled abusers around to protect them and the reputation of the church.
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