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Book probes paedophilia in Polish Church

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 01.02.2013 14:27
A new book has taken on the little-explored issue of paedophilia in the Polish Roman Catholic Church.
Photo: GlowimagesPhoto: Glowimages
Photo: Glowimages

Ekke Overbeek, Warsaw correspondent of Dutch dailies Trouw and Het Financieele Dagblad, has investigated 27 cases of alleged child abuse by Polish priests.

“At a certain point [in my research], I came to the conclusion that people would rather not talk about this in Poland,” the journalist reflected in an interview with commercial radio station TOK FM.

The title of his book, Be Afraid: Victims of Paedophilia by the Catholic Church Speak (Lekajcie sie. Ofiary pedofilii w polskim kosciele mowią), emphasises the fear he says many have of talking about the issue.

Overbeek noted that it took “a lot of patience” to convince his interviewees to open up.

He likewise claims that there were many people who confirmed that they had fallen victim to Polish priests as children, but would not talk about it.

“The fear was too great,” he said.

The Polish Episcopate has not yet commented on the book, which is published by the Czarna Owca publishing house.

“The most convenient way for the Church to react would be to stay silent, ” the journalist said.

“In the short term, this will be beneficial for them, but in the long term, talking about the issue and trying to find a solution will be very much in the interests of the Church,” Overbeek stressed.

“Churches in many Western European countries have come to the conclusion that this issue can be investigated. The Polish Episcopate maintains that it cannot.” (nh)

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