A state commission that analyzed allegations of pedophilia crimes filed in Poland between 2017 and 2020 reported on Tuesday that almost a third of the cases studied, in a total of more than 300 cases, involve members of the Catholic Church.
“The state commission (responsible for matters related to pedophilia crimes) is dealing with 100 cases in which members of the clergy are denounced as perpetrators of sexual assaults on children with less than 15 years”, declared the entity, in the public presentation of its activity report, which integrates the analysis of a total of 345 cases, cited by the agency Portuguese.
In the same report, this commission, created in 2019, concluded that in 35% of the cases analyzed, the perpetrators of the crimes are relatives of the victims.
The commission also took the opportunity to propose in the report a set of legislative recommendations aimed at streamlining judicial procedures and strengthening the protection of victims of this type of crime.
The entity also disclosed that it had requested documentation to the Catholic Church about the complaints made in this matter, but, as he indicated, the requests have not yet received a concrete response.
“So far, we have received repeated assurances of willingness to cooperate (from the Church), and we are very pleased with that, but we have not yet seen that pledge become a reality,” commission chairman Blazej Kmieciak told the media.
In late June, the Polish Catholic Church revealed, in a report of its own, that since 2018 it had received several hundred new allegations of sexual assaults on minors involving members of the clergy.
These two reports come at a time when the Catholic Church, which is very politically influential in Poland, is being confronted by several accusations of pedophilia and cover-up, a subject that has been increasingly covered in the media, but for a long time. was considered taboo in this strongly catholic country.
According to the Polish Catholic Church report, a total of 368 cases of sexual assault, committed between 1958 and last year, were reported directly to the institution between July 2018 and the end of 2020.
According to the same source, 39% of allegations were considered credible and substantiated, while around 10% were rejected, mainly due to lack of credibility. About 51% of allegations are in the process of investigation, the report of the Polish Catholic Church said.
Since last year, the Vatican sanctioned eight bishops for having covered up acts of pedophilia committed by members of the clergy.