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The Study Concerning Reported Cases of Sexual Abuse of Minors in Poland

Bishops’ Conference Provides Statistics

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382 reported cases of sexual abuse of minors, including 198 cases concerning minors under the age of 15, and 184 above the age of 15; the reported cases cover the time from January 1, 1990, to June 30, 2018 – according to the data received by the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference from all dioceses and religious orders. They were elaborated by the Institute for Catholic Church Statistics and the Child Protection Centre.
The total number of victims in all (also unconfirmed) cases under the age of 15 accounted for 345. Whereas, above the age of 15 – 280. Among the victims, in all reported cases, male minors accounted for 58.4%, while the female minors – 41.6%.
Among all the cases, in which the status of the canonical process was identified (94.8% of all reported cases), 74.6% of cases were already completed, and 25.4% of them were still in progress.
The cases completed with dismissal from the clerical state represented 25.2%. Other penalties (suspense, canonical admonition, prohibition on work with minors, removal from office, restriction of ministry or prohibition on public appearances) represented 40.3%.
The cases completed with other consequences (imposition of penance, transfer to other parish, transfer outside a parish pastoral work to a retirement home or to a home for sick priests, therapy, arbitrary abandonment of the diocese) accounted for 11.5%, while the cases completed with a dismissal of proceedings (due to the death of the accused person, suicide or lack of sufficient evidence, poor health) accounted for 12.6%.
In 10.4% of cases, the proceedings ended with acquittal of the accused.
Cases were reported most often by victims (41.6%) or their relatives (20.9%). In 5.8% of cases, knowledge of them came from state authorities, and in 5.2% from media. Parish people, that is, both clerics from parishes and lay people, reported 5.2% of cases. Knowledge of 14.9% of cases came from another source, such as: school head, pedagogue, educators, children’s caretakers and victim’s friends, confreres (in orders), seminarians, other priests.
[This text was provided by the Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference]


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Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

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