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Bielsko-Biala. Janusz Szymik against the curia. The process continues

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Janusz Szymik demands three million zlotys in compensation from the Bielsko-Żywiec curia for sexual abuse he allegedly suffered from the parish priest in Międzybrodzie Bialski when he was a teenage altar boy. The trial is taking place before the District Court in Bielsko-Biała (Silesian Voivodeship). There is no final yet.

On Thursday, another hearing in the case of Janusz Szymik against the Bielsko-Żywiec Curia was held at the District Court in Bielsko-Biała. The man is demanding PLN 3 million in compensation for the suffering he suffered as a result of repeated rape by Father Jan W., former parish priest in Międzybrodzie Bialski.

Behind closed doors, Bishop Roman Pindel answered the court’s questions and – in 2014, after reporting the crime again – he removed Father W. from the parish priest’s office and from the parish, and then implemented the canonical procedure. Bishop Pindel appeared in court already in March, but he did not manage to submit his testimony then. Neither then nor now did he want to talk to the media.

Lawyer Artur Nowak, representing Szymik, after leaving the courtroom said that he and his client “are satisfied” with the bishop’s words before the court. – We see a radically different approach to this matter than its predecessor. I don’t think this is surprising. His actions show that he responded. To what extent it was related to the fact that he is a younger man with greater understanding of certain “Piarist” realities for the Church, and to what extent it was related to his conscience, is a different matter. However, we have the impression that there is something inside this man that makes us think that he assessed everything differently than Bishop Rakoczy, who did not see a problem in the fact that there was a pedophile in the parish. (…) He was more concerned that the matter would not be revealed. – the patron told journalists.

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Read also: She wanted to check the sexual orientation of the victim of a pedophile priest. Disciplinary charges against the curia’s representative

Janusz Szymik’s attorney: his harm was ignored

– It’s not just about sexual abuse, because it’s just a prelude. The biggest problem for Mr. Janusz was that his harm was ignored. He was reliant on the Church where the holy mass is celebrated by a pedophile. (…) He goes to the bishop with this, because only he has the power to change something – he reported. Now the court, at a closed session, is to decide whether to admit evidence from expert opinions. Artur Nowak said that such a request was included in the lawsuit. – The harm must be based not only on the testimony of witnesses and what the injured party says, but also on special information, and this is what expert psychologists have. What is at stake here is the issue – colloquially speaking – of the actual harm associated with the abuse, because it was actually rape. The second issue is “injury”, i.e. a situation in which (Szymik) was dependent on this parish priest for many years. (…) If he wanted to practice some spiritual life (…), he had to rely on a molestator, a rapist. (…) This impoverished his spiritual life related to religious practices. Secondly, he lost quite a lot of trust in the institution with which he was associated from birth through baptism. Thirdly, he felt very bad in this community where the person who caused the harm was an authority, said attorney Nowak after the hearing.

As TVN24 reporter Jerzy Korczyński reported before Thursday’s hearing, the curia’s position is that it cannot pay compensation because when the crimes occurred, the Bielsko-Żywiec diocese did not exist, so the addressee of the claims should be the Krakow diocese.

The case of abuse of a teenage boy was covered up for years by the then bishop of Bielsko-Żywiec, Tadeusz Rakoczy. Last year, he was punished by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for failing to respond to the actions of a pedophile priest. Szymik has emphasized many times that he is not looking for revenge, but he has a huge grudge against the bishop. He applied for it in 1993. Only Rakoczy’s successor, Bishop Roman Pindel, removed the priest from the parish where Szymik lived. Canonical proceedings were carried out, which led to the parish priest being punished.

Read also: The Vatican punished Bishop Rákóczi. It’s about “clerical sexual abuse cases”

W. was sentenced by a final canonical judgment to five years of solitary confinement, and Rakoczy was banned from participating in religious services and ordered to live in the spirit of penance.

– This year marks 30 years since I first reported this matter to Bishop Rákóczi, who did everything to prevent this matter from seeing the light of day. That’s why it’s hard for me, Szymik said in March.

Janusz Szymik: This year marks 30 years since I reported the case, it’s hard for meTVN24

Main photo source: tvn24

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