Allegations of abuse among church leaders are common, as most of these leaders come out as guilty. Along with these claims, cover-ups happen, and the people responsible for covering-up guilty individuals are the big names in the religious community. This includes the late John Paul II.
The Catholic Church leaders of Poland have come forward to defend the sainthood of the late John Paul II and the expedited canonization process. This comes in response to a report on Polish TV that claims John Paul II covered up instances of sexual abuse by clergy members while serving as Archbishop in Poland.
The church officials have also announced that they will be forming a commission of experts, which includes professionals such as lawyers, psychologists, and historians, to investigate cases of past abuse of minors by the clergy.
Catholic Community of Poland Defends Pope John Paull II Amid Accusations of Cover-Ups on Abusive Priests
Following a recent report on Polish TV channel TVN24 alleging that John Paul II had covered up cases of sexual abuse by three priests during the 1970s, the leaders of the Episcopate have defended the late pope's sainthood and the expedited canonization process.
According to the article in Crux Now, the TV report cited communist secret security documents and included interviews with abuse survivors. However, the church leaders emphasized that the canonization process was carried out with the utmost care and honesty and reflected the general esteem that John Paul II enjoyed as a pope, despite its impressive speed. The leaders also announced that a commission of experts would soon investigate past cases of abuse of minors by clergy members.
Archbishop Grzegorz Rys has stated that during the process that led to the sainthood of John Paul II in 2014, every book and page in the church archives were examined. According to Associated Press News, he also warned that documents from the communist era, which alleged abuse by clergy members, should be read with an understanding of the historical context.
The bishops of Poland have urged the public to respect the memory of John Paul II, who they consider one of the greatest Poles, amidst what they perceive as an unprecedented attempt to discredit him. They have also stated that the canonization process confirms John Paul II's sainthood beyond any doubt.
The bishops have called for John Paul II not to be used as a tool in political disputes or bargaining, referring to a resolution adopted by Polish lawmakers in defense of the late pope and statements made by politicians.
Also Read: Portuguese Catholic Church Members Sexually Abused Around 4,815 Children
Other Pope Also Face the Same Allegations
Not only John Paul II but also other popes have faced scrutiny for their handling of cases involving abusive priests. According to a shared article in ABC News, Benedict XVI, who had a firm approach towards such cases and removed hundreds of priests engaging in such abuses, was still criticized for handling four cases while serving as the archbishop of Munich in Germany.
An independent report commissioned by the diocese found fault with his handling of these cases. Pope Francis has also faced accusations of having failed to react to cases of abuse by priests in Argentina and Chile, both during his time as bishop and pontiff. These accusations have put the Popes under scrutiny.
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