I am an eyewitness of the determination of St. John Paul II to combat sexual abuse of minors when such cases were brought to his attention. I believe that those who question the competence or determination of St. John Paul II in the treatment of this phenomenon should brush up on their knowledge of history, said Metropolitan Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in an interview with the Polish Catholic News Agency KAI, carried out during his visit to Poland.
In an interview with KAI, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spoke about the approach of John Paul II towards the abuse of minors. “I believe that Poland is and should be justly proud of John Paul II, a magnificent man. I am an eyewitness of the determination of St. John Paul II to combat sexual abuse of minors when such cases were brought to his attention,” observed Archbishop Scicluna.
Responding to a question of KAI about the role of St. John Paul II in combatting such crimes, the Archbishop of Malta recalled that it was John Paull II who had appointed him in October 2002 the Promotor of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith led by Cardinal Ratzinger, to investigate cases of clerical sexual abuse. “I did it also during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, until October 2012, for a full ten years. Some of these years were during the pontificate of John Paul II. At that time, every Friday Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger would visit the Holy Father with many cases of sexual abuse. The Pope, with utmost dedication and determination, always took into consideration the opinion of the Congregation”, said Archbishop Scicluna.
The Archbishop recalled the words of John Paul II from 23 October 2002, from a meeting with the Cardinals from the United States: “there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young”. According to Archbishop Scicluna, these words by John Paul II are “the most significant statement that Catholics both in Poland and elsewhere should know” and implement the world over. “I, therefore, think that those who question the competence or determination of St. John Paul II in the treatment of this phenomenon should brush up on their knowledge of history”, stressed Archbishop Scicluna.
At the invitation of Polish bishops, Archbishop Charles Scicluna took part in the second day of the plenary meeting of the Conference of Polish Bishops, on June 14. The Archbishop shared his experience concerning the protection of children and young people in the Church.