Poland's Catholic Church is preparing to publish a book on internal procedures to deal with child sex abuse by priests as cases come to the fore in the staunchly Catholic country, the head of the nation's Catholic news agency said Thursday.
told The Associated Press the book should come out by June, provided the
Vatican approves the guidelines suggested by Poland's bishops last
year. It is not clear when the Vatican will make a decision.
book appears to be a response by Poland's church to allegations that it
has been sweeping cases of sex abuse under the carpet, against the
Vatican's efforts since 2001 to punish abusers.
conviction came in 2004, but allegations last year against two Polish
clergymen — one was a Vatican envoy — serving in the Dominican Republic
brought the problem to greater public attention.
"There is the will to publish it, there is nothing to hide,"
Przeciszewski said. "The value of it will be that in one book everyone
will be able to find guidance how the church should react, what the
Przeciszewski says the book will show that child sex abuse by priests is not as widespread as generally believed.
book will include the Vatican's and the Polish church's instructions
for dealing with cases of abuse, helping victims and educating priests,
starting with documents issued under Polish-born Pope John Paul II. It
may also include statistics, if they are ready in time.
Some 30 Polish priests have been tried for sex abuse. Most
cases ended in suspended prison terms, indicating a general leniency for
the church in Poland, where religion is taught in schools and senior
church officials attend state ceremonies.
The trend seems to be changing
under public pressure, and a court recently ordered a priest to serve