Affected had sued Polish diocese last year Janusz Szymik was abused by a priest and has therefore sued a Polish diocese. But she wanted to find out whether Szymik was gay and therefore “enjoyed” the abuse. The diocese has now apologized. Gniezno – 14.01.2022 A Polish diocese has apologized to a victim of abuse because they wanted a court to determine his sexual orientation and whether he had enjoyed the abuse. According to a statement by the Diocese of Bielsko-Zywiec, the AP news agency reported on Thursday that the corresponding letter to the court should now be changed. “We apologize to Janusz and to all who were outraged,” the diocese said. Janusz Szymik, now 48, was abused as an altar boy in the 1980s. He sued the diocese last year and is demanding 660,000 euros in compensation. The accused priest Jan W. admitted the crimes and was sentenced in 2015 by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In a letter to the court, the diocese had now demanded that an expert should determine Szymik’s sexual orientation and whether he had “shown satisfaction in the intimate relationship with Pastor W.” or had “obtained material benefits” from it. The Polish news site “Onet” first reported on the case.
criticism of the diocese
Criticism of the diocese’s approach came from the Polish Bishops’ Conference. “The sexual orientation or the way a child reacts to abuse cannot be an argument against the victim and reduce the responsibility of the abuser,” said the head of the department for child protection at the bishops’ conference, Piotr Studnicki, on Wednesday. “It must be clear to everyone that a child is never responsible for suffering violence.” Szymik was surprised by the diocese’s letter. Bishop Roman Pindel has shown him compassion in the past and asked for forgiveness. And now Pindel wants to prove that everything happened voluntarily and that he benefited from it, Szymik told the TVN24 news channel. The Catholic Church in Poland, which was a moral authority in the country for a long time not least because of its role during the communist rule, has lost a lot of popular support after uncovering cases of abuse. Young Poles in particular have distanced themselves from the church, said the Gniezno archbishop and Polish primate, Wojciech Polak. (cph)
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