Pope Francis meets with wrongly convicted Komenda

Pope Francis with Tomasz Komenda (C) and his parents at Wednesday audience. Photo: PAP/EPA/VATICAN MEDIA HANDOUT

After a general audience on Wednesday the Pope Francis met wrongly convicted Tomasz Komenda, who spent last 18 years in Polish jail, says Andrea Tornielli of Vatican Insider website.

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Poland’s supreme court acquitted a man from southern Poland who spent nearly two decades in prison, on Wednesday.

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Mr Komenda was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment over the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in 2004, having been detained since 2000. The Supreme Court of Poland acquitted him on May 16 this year.

In prison, as it often happens to people involved with a crime against minors, Mr Komenda was severely humiliated by other prisoners. During conversations with journalists Mr Komenda stressed that he prayed all these years for freedom to the “Polish Pope” St John Paul II, and now, as a free man, he would go to Rome.

Mr Komenda kept his word and went to Rome alongside with his parents to pray at the grave of St. John Paul II. The papal almoner, archbishop Konrad Krajewski, met with them and introduced them to the Pope Francis. The mentioned website informs that after hearing the whole story Pope was visibly moved; he offered them rosaries and posed to photos.

A 42-year-old Pole and his family were invited for a dinner by Arch Krajewski, who has recently been appointed Cardinal. The meal was prepared by Enzo, a former convict, who spent 20 years in jail and now works with the Office of Papal Charities. After hearing Mr Komenda’s story, he assured that the meal would be exceptional, since he understands how the long-term imprisonment feels like.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Łódź, central Poland is currently conducting procedures in relation to wrongly convicted Tomasz Komenda, who will now demand compensation.