Shocking documentary tackles Polish clergy's sexual abuses

A crowdfunded graphic look at the pervasive and damaging effect of sexual abuse by the Polish clergy may cause controversy for ruling party PiS, a famous defender of the Church. 

Gea Alessi
Gea Alessi NewsMavens, Europe
Shocking documentary tackles Polish clergy's sexual abuses - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

The film, "Tell No One," shows how abusive priests faced no consequences for their actions. With European and Polish parliamentary elections to be held this year, Jarosław Kaczyński’s words "Who raises a hand against the church, wanting to destroy it, raises a hand against Poland" may actually have a negative effect. Now that “Tell No One” is out, his unflinching support for the Catholic Church may not be seen positively by voters. Kaczyński is the leader ofLaw and Justice (PiS) party and the country’s de facto ruler. PiS always had strong ties to the clergy and many Polish priests and bishops openly support the party. Opposition leader Grzegorz Schetyna has already used the scandal as a tool to attack Kaczyński. 

"Who raises a hand against Polish children, raises a hand against Poland," he said, alluding to the remark made by his rival.    

As for the clergy’s leaders, reactions to the film were mixed. The primate of Poland, Wojciech Polak, declared "I am sorry for every wound inflicted by people of the church". On the other hand, the archbishop of Gdańsk, accused in the film of being aware of one of the abuses, affirmed not to have seen the documentary. "I don't watch any old thing," were his words.

A version of the movie is on YouTube with English subtitles here.

Details from the story:

  • In Poland, the Church is more than a religious institution and has great influence over education, culture, the law and politics
  • Kaczyński declared that his party has always been committed to tackle sexual abuse; however, he did not back down on his support of the Church

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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