Father Grzegorz K. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with a minor and to have shown the child pornographic material, among other crimes.
The allegations follow Polish archbishop Jozef Wesolowski being recalled last year to Rome amid claims he sexually abused children in the Dominican Republic and a 36-year-old priest, Wojciech G, is also accused of molesting boys while serving as a parish priest on the Caribbean island.
According to Renata Mazur, spokesperson of the District Prosecutor's Office of Warsaw-Praga, the latest allegations refer to crimes carried out by Father Grzegorz regularly between 1 January 2000 and 7 January 2003.
During that time, Grzegorz K. was working as a pastor on the outskirts of Warsaw in Radzymin and Otwock Wielki.
Renata Mazur has clarified that the current investigation concerning Father Grzegorz K. was launched after a written complaint was filed by the alleged victim in October 2013.
The priest has a previous conviction for sexually abusing an altar-boy in 2001, for which he received a suspended sentence.
The Curia of the Warsaw-Praga diocese has released a statement on its official website confirming that it is “fully prepared” to cooperate in the investigation.
“We are in contact with the victim, who we have offered pastoral and psychological help,” the Curia affirmed.
The statement described child abuse as “a great moral evil,” adding that the Church “strongly condemns such behaviour.
It is understood that the priest has been compelled to step down from his pastoral duties in the Tarchomin district of Warsaw.
The Father Grzegorz K. case marks the first detainment in connection with child abuse since Polish bishops elected a new head of the country's Episcopate last week.
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki's predecessor, Archbishop Jozef Michalik, sparked controversy after suggesting that some of the minors in child abuse cases had been “searching for love,” as they came from broken homes.
Archbishop Jozef Michalik completed the second of his maximum two terms in office last week. (nh/pg)