The systemic response to the problem of abuse of children and youth by some clerics was the main theme of the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference convened by the President of the Polish Episcopate, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, on May 22, 2019.
“The point is to review the effectiveness of procedures as soon as possible. So that the shortcomings that have appeared, as soon as possible – through the training of delegates and the introduction of strategies – are improved. We must systematically improve them for the goof of the victims,” said Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Primate of Poland, Delegate for the Protection of Children and Youth of the Polish Episcopate.
Fr. Piotr Studnicki said that there is a need i.a. to build a professional system of prevention: “In this project, we also anticipate the issue that the Center has been dealing with for years, namely the issue of prevention, the whole system of training addressed to seminaries, religious congregations, priests, to everyone in the Church, in order to create through changing consciousness, education and information increasingly safe environments for children and youth.”
Archbishop Polak noted that the training of metropolitans, which took place after the session of the Permanent Council, concerned the study of how the cases related to crimes perpetrated by clerics were conducted. “Here, too, we are talking about responsibility. But in this project, we also offer help for metropolitans: a group of specialists to help in a clear review of these cases,” said Archbishop Polak.
The Primate of Poland said that a working group is planned to be established, which will serve to implement the Motu Proprio of Pope Francis.