Poland’s agreement with the Vatican helps protect abusers

Poland’s agreement with Vatican helps protect abusers, NSS tells UN

Via National Secular Society

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The National Secular Society has urged a UN committee to push Poland to renegotiate a treaty with the Vatican, in order to better protect child abuse survivors in the Catholic Church.

In a submission to the UN committee on the rights of the child, the NSS said the concordat between Poland and the Holy See appeared to “compromise the effective administration of justice”.

The NSS added that the concordat impeded Poland’s freedom and ability to conform to the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The NSS’s submission highlighted evidence that the scale of clerical child sexual abuse in Poland is substantial and prosecutors are expected to treat the church with deference.

The submission also said the country should take steps to tackle the discrimination and persecution faced by LGBT+ children, including by introducing inclusive relationships and sex education and reforming religious education.

The committee is taking evidence on Poland’s compliance with the CRC ahead of an examination of Poland’s five-yearly report on the subject.

Concordat undermines secular justice

The concordat, which Poland and the Vatican signed in 1993, requires conformity with the Catholic Church’s canon ‘law’ in some instances and remains valid today.

The NSS’s submission said the concordat sought to give ecclesiastical ‘law’ precedence over secular law. It said the ‘justice’ delivered as a result would not be “an adequate or just substitute for even-handed secular justice” for perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

The maximum sanction under canon law for abuse of minors, including rape, is defrocking.

The NSS also referred to a 2019 letter from the national prosecutor which suggested local prosecutors seeking documentary evidence from the Catholic Church were required to treat it with deference.

The letter suggested in some cases this should include allowing the church to withhold documents.

The prosecutor’s justification for this position was partly based on the obligations outlined in the concordat.

The NSS’s submission included reports suggesting the national prosecutor’s office initially denied the existence of the letter, then sought to misrepresent its contents as benign.

It added that Poland should make greater efforts to secure secular, rather than ecclesiastical, justice for those suspected of clerical child sexual abuse.

Scale of abuse

The NSS’s submission noted that the Catholic Church has admitted that hundreds of priests in Poland have abused children.

It also noted that pressure groups have suggested significant numbers of bishops have failed to report abusive priests and allowed them to stay in ministry, often working with children in the process.

NSS comment

NSS president Keith Porteous Wood said: “Poland’s populist government is seeking to bolster the church from unprecedented criticism over clerical abuse of minors, after three films which attracted record-breaking audiences drew attention to the extent of the abuse and the church’s cover up.

“Poland’s adherence to human rights appears to be deteriorating with every month.

“We hope our submission will assist the UN to bring pressure to bear on Poland to ensure it makes the protection of LGBT children non-negotiable, and hold it to account for its shortcomings in prosecuting clerics suspected of abusing children.”

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Vatican Press Release: “must reflect on what allowed abuse” !!

December 21st, 2010 by Dave Gamble

There has been an bizarre press release today from the Vatican … it is quite extraordinary in that is illustrates the astonishing degree of pure stupidity and complete detachment from reality. Here it is … with my comments in red …

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican officials Monday that they must reflect on the church’s culpability in its child sex-abuse scandal, but he also blamed a secular society in which he said the mistreatment of children was frighteningly common.

[Does he truly not remember that when running the congregation for the doctrine of the faith before becoming Pope, he issued a directive in 1980 to all catholic Bishops worldwide to cover-up the abuse and keep it a secret and that failing to do so would result in their excommunication … that resulted in abusers being protected and allowed to continue the abuse, this had nothing to do with secular society]

In his traditional, end-of-the-year speech to Vatican cardinals and bishops, Benedict said revelations of abuse in 2010 reached “an unimaginable dimension” that required the church to accept the “humiliation” as a call for renewal.

[Thats code for, we got caught telling lies and covering up abuse]

“We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen,” the pope said.

[Seriously! … they truly don’t know … they honestly don’t yet appreciate that protecting folks who bugger little children is not a great idea, is their disconnect from reality that vast?]

Benedict also said, however, that the scandal must be seen in a broader social context, in which child pornography is seemingly considered normal by society and drug use and sexual tourism are on the rise.

[He actually thinks the society considers child pornography to be normal!! … can you, the reader, name one single individual who truly thinks like that … this is utterly bizarre … and exactly how does he know that drug use and sexual tourism are on the rise, he has no factual data to back that claim up … he is just making this up … but then he makes everything else up as well … and for that matter, what has any of this got to do with catholic priests abusing young children and the cover-up … unless perhaps he is suggesting that catholic priests are also drug users and sexual tourists ]

So how on earth can you ever respond to stuff like that, its such a gross denial of what is really happening. As you might imagine, representatives of abuse victims have a few words to say about this …

“He is trying to say that the modern world is corrupt and sexually rampant. It is blaming society for what is actually their responsibility,” Margaret Kennedy, founder of the U.K.-based Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors organization, told The Telegraph today. “No one in any age has ever thought that adults having sex with children is right.”

However, not everybody has lost all integrity, because tens of thousands of Germans have cancelled their church membership this year, according to new research by the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper and the DPA press agency, and that in the end is the very best way forward … walk away … simply vote with your feet.