According to a recent investigation, the late Polish pope John Paul II assisted in covering up child abuse in Poland’s Catholic church years before he was elected pope.
When he was a cardinal in Krakow, according to Michal Gutowski, the investigator who wrote the report for the private broadcaster TVN, the late Pope was aware of instances of paedophile priests within the church.
In order to prevent a scandal, he moved the priests to other dioceses, including one in Austria, the investigator claimed.
According to Gutowski, Wojtyla, who served as pope for 27 years, from 1978 until his death in 2005, recommended a priest to Vienna cardinal Franz Koenig without mentioning the allegations.
Gutowski claims that over the course of his inquiry, he spoke with former Catholic diocese personnel as well as victims and families of pedophile priests.
He refers to rare church documents that he was able to access as well as records from the former SB secret police during the Communist era. But, according to Gutowski, he was denied access to the Krakow diocese’s document archives for his inquiry.
A public commission of inquiry into allegations of church abuse of minors and the judiciary have both been refused access to documents by the Polish church in the past.
Under the condition of secrecy, one of Gutowski’s informants claimed that he had personally informed Wojtyla of pedophilic acts involving one priest in 1973.
The insider claimed that Wojtyla first wanted to confirm that it wasn’t a bluff. “He asked that it not be disclosed anyplace, saying that he would handle it,”
The source reportedly told Gutowski that the then-cardinal had specifically asked for the alleged affair to be kept completely under wraps.
Gutowski’s study was ground-breaking, according to Thomas Doyle, an American canon law expert and former Catholic priest who wrote one of the earliest investigations of Catholic clerical abuse in the country.
He claimed that it demonstrated that John Paul II was aware of this issue even before he was elected pope.
The inquiry was televised in traditionally Catholic Poland not long after Ekke Overbeek, a Dutch journalist working in Poland, leveled comparable charges.
The Vatican has penalized several high-ranking church officials over the past two years for covering up priestly pedophilia despite numerous reports of child abuse in the Polish church.
After Pius IX in the 1800s, John Paul II served as pontiff for the longest period of time in modern history at the time of his election. He was the first non-Italian pope since the sixteenth century.
The latter Pope apologized in front of numerous groups that had been wronged by the Catholic Church throughout the years. He expressed regret for wrongdoings like as the role played by the church hierarchy in stake burnings, injustices against women, and the inaction and quiet of many Catholics during the Nazi Holocaust during the Second World War.