Documentary on paedophilia met with apologies from Church officials

The 2-hour documentary “Don’t Tell Anyone” by the journalist Tomasz Sekielski about cases of paedophilia in the Polish Catholic Church was released on the Internet on Saturday.

"I am deeply moved by what I saw in the film. I apologise for every wound inflicted by the people of the Church”, said the Polish Primate Wojciech Polak in a video statement referring to the work by Tomasz Sekielski.

The film was also commented on by the chairman of the Polish Bishops' Conference Arch. Stanisław Gądecki.

"With emotion and sadness, I watched Mr. Sekielski's film, for which I would like to thank the director," he wrote in a statement.

"For the most part, the situations presented in this film are consistent with my experience gained from numerous conversations with the victims. I am convinced that this film will also contribute to further compliance with the guidelines for the protection of children and young people in the Catholic Church, and to implement the principles of prevention in every diocese by all priests and bishops,” he said.

The production of the film was financed from an internet money collection by almost 2,500 people, who donated over PLN 450,000.

“This is a breakthrough in independent Polish journalism,” Tomasz Sekielski said.

The film shows not only the cases of paedophilia among the clergy, but also the attempts to cover up the matter by Church authorities. From a hidden camera, the author records confrontations between the victims and their perpetrators after many years. Among other issues, the production shows how victims cope in everyday life and how they function in society.

As Mr Sekielski told the website, the idea of creating a documentary was born several years ago, when he "saw people who were crying and whose lives were destroyed". The journalist emphasises that his film is not "anti-religious" and that he talked with the victims so that other people who have experienced similar cruelty also speak out and "fight for their rights and the truth".

Tomasz Sekielski is a radio and TV journalist, in the past associated with public television TVP, as well as the private TVN broadcaster. He was a reporter during, among others, the war in Kosovo, and the Kursk submarine disaster.

Click here to watch the documentary by Tomasz Sekielski.