Doco on Polish bishop who shielded paedophiles goes viral

Bishop Edward Janiak of Kalisz ignored child sex abuse and shielded paedophile priests, a new documentary about paedophilia within the Polish Catholic Church claims.

Tomasz and Marek Sekielsk’s documentary “Playing Hide and Seek”, went viral on YouTube after its release on Saturday.

The documentary overshadowed centenary of the birth of popular Polish Pope, John Paul II, that was celebrated this past weekend in Poland.

“Playing Hide and Seek” provides a detailed account of the story of two brothers sexually abused by a priest, tacitly protected by Janiak.

Within about 36 hours, YouTube records show the documentary had been viewed 27.5 million times and attracted over 45,000 comments.

Janiak, who is still practicing as a priest, has not commented directly on the allegations.

After seeing the documentary, Poland’s most senior Catholic archbishop Wojciech Polak notified the Vatican of the accusations against the Polish bishop.

Polak’s referral will test procedures introduced by the Vatican last year to hold to account bishops accused if they turn a blind eye to child sex abuse.

The Vatican is now expected to assign an investigator to the case.

Polak also broadcast a message saying the documentary “… shows that procedures concerning the standards of protection of children and youth have not been fulfilled.”

“As a delegate of the Polish Episcopate for the protection of children and youth, I am requesting the Holy See, through its Nuncio, to start a procedure ordered by motu propio (an apostolic letter – editor’s note) from Pope Francis on the omission of the activity required by law,” he added.

The Kalisz curia has spoken out in Janiak’s defence, saying the parents of one of the alleged victims portrayed in the film did not follow the right procedure.

“The recording in the film doesn’t show the whole conversation. It doesn’t show the part where we say that the parents should’ve expressed their concerns to the prosecutor immediately,” the curia said in a statement.

Last year the Sekielski brothers released another film that suggested known paedophiles were deliberately shifted between parishes in Poland.

“Tell No One” had around 23.5 million hits on YouTube. It sent shock waves through the Catholic Church and prompted a series of reactions at the top of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.

However, the issue appears to have faded from public view since then.

Both films look at the issue of the responsibility of the Catholic hierarchy.

A third documentary is planned on the rôle of the Polish pope, St John Paul II covering up the crimes perpetrated by priests.




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