The Polish church defended the actions of Pope John Paul II when it comes to clerical child abuse. Notes from Poland reported that the pope was called negligent for his actions at the time but that it was a mere attempt to undermine the authority of the pope.
The report also pointed out specific actions that the media and even senior church figures questioned over the years.
Pope John Paul II’s Questioned Actions
According to the article, there was the case of Theodore McCarrick who the pope promoted as an archbishop of Washington and cardinal in 2001. The same person was found guilty of sexual crimes and dismissed from the priesthood in 2019.
There’s also the personal secretary of the pope, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, who also had accusations of ignoring clerical sexual abuses.
The article added that there were also Polish bishops who faced punishment from the Holy See for negligence when it comes to the cases.
The Polish Catholic Defense of Pope John Paul II
The Polish Episcopal Conference (KEP) released a statement saying that the ‘attack’ on the pope is motivated by the pope’s theology and how it ‘does not correspond to contemporary ideologies promoting hedonism, relativism, and moral nihilism.’
The statement added that as early as 1983, the Pope already introduced a new code of canon law that metes out stronger punishment to erring members of the church. He would also give better protection to the victims of such abuses in the 1990s.
In 2001, there is also the Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela that the pope wrote as a response to the clerical sandals.
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Pope John Paul II
According to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, the pope was born Karol Józef Wojtyła in 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. The article says that at the start of his life, the pope already faced hardship and loss with the death of several loved ones such as his mother and two siblings.
His path would lead him to a clandestine seminary led by Cardinal Sapieha. He would receive his ordination on the Feast of All Saints in 1946. After returning from Rome for doctoral studies, he would become an assistant pastor in Niegowic.
Eventually, he was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop of Kraków on July 4, 1958, making him the youngest in the country.
In 1978, the then Cardinal Wojtyła became the 263rd successor to Peter, taking the name John Paul II. His pontificate would become one of the longest in history with over 27 years. During his papacy, he would continue his missionary spirit, heading out to over 129 different countries.
His legacy of love for young people and family also created World Youth Day and the World Meeting of Families.
The article also said that it was the presence and work of the pope that helped with averting the war between Chile and Argentina, the peaceful removal of communism from Eastern Europe, and other acts.
Unfortunately, the pope died in 2005 after succumbing to Parkinson’s disease.
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