As pedocrime cases continue to shake the Catholic Church, revelations concerning Pope John Paul II are sparking new controversy. A journalistic investigation presented on Sunday March 5 affirms that Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was aware of cases of pedophilia in the Polish Church before he was elected pope in 1978.
Then cardinal and bishop of Krakow (South), Karol Wojtyla was aware of cases of acts of pedophilia committed by priests in his diocese, which he transferred from one parish to another to avoid scandal, according to the author of the survey, Michal Gutowski. One of the priests was sent by the future pope to Austria. Cardinal Wojtyla, in this case, wrote a letter of recommendation to Cardinal Franz König of Vienna, without informing him of the charges against the priest.
Access to archives blocked
As part of the investigation, Mr. Gutowski met with victims of pedophile priests, their relatives, as well as former employees of the diocese. He also cites documents from the former communist secret police, SB, and rare Church documents he was able to access. The diocese of Krakow denied him access to its archives, according to the journalist. It has already happened that the Polish Church refuses to provide documents, even to the courts or to a public commission of inquiry into cases of pedophilia.
Wishing to remain anonymous, a witness confirmed having personally reported to Cardinal Wojtyla the pedophile acts of a priest in 1973. “Wojtyla first wanted to make sure that it was not a bluff. He asked not to report it anywhere, he said he would take care of it,” the man said, adding that the cardinal had explicitly asked him if the matter could remain covered up.
A book soon to be published
"What you have discovered is groundbreaking because it shows what many people suspected for years, that John Paul II knew this problem existed even before he became pope," former Catholic priest Thomas Doyle said in the report. American, specialist in canon law and author of one of the first reports on the abuses of the Catholic clergy in the United States. “He had to know but there was no proof. And there we have proof,” he said.
A book with similar accusations against Karol Wojtyla is due out in Poland on Wednesday. The result of an investigation by Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek, it is titled Maxima Culpa. John Paul II knew. Several cases of pedophilia among the clergy, revealed mainly by the media, have shaken the Polish Church in recent years. Several senior Polish officials have been sanctioned by the Vatican.