Head of Episcopate: Bishops apologise for priests’ abuse of minors

Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the head of the Polish Episcopate Conference (KEP) said, after the seating of the KEP Permanent Council, that Polish bishops would like to apologise for cases of sexual abuse of minors by some priests.

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“The bishops expressed their sadness about the suffering of people abused by some reverends and apologise to those who were affected by this sin and crime,” Abp Gądecki was quoted as saying in a press release.

“Such cases demand more sensitivity towards victims, as well as no negligence of any kind,” he added.

The Council has also accepted a letter to the faithful titled “Sensitivity and responsibility.” It will be read out in Polish churches on Sunday. In the letter, they referred to the recently published film “Don’t tell anyone” created by Tomasz and Marek Sekielski.

“As the Pastors of the Church we did not do everything possible to prevent the damage,” the bishops wrote. They emphasised that “there are no words to express our shame because of the sexual scandals of some members of the clergy.”

“Members of the Council refer to both the suffering of the victims, as well as to an effective method of repairing current practices when responding to these cases. They pointed to the necessity of notifying authorities about the harm suffered, they also emphasised the role of diocese delegates, entitled to accept notification about the sexual abuse of minors,” the archbishop said.

Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Poland’s Primate, has also announced that the Council has “started work on providing a systemic answer to the problem of the sexual abuse of minors by some priests.”