The prosecutor’s office accused a priest from Małopolska of sexual abuse of an insane or helpless person, reports RMF24. A clergyman, acting chaplain at the hospital, was to be caught molesting an elderly patient in 2017. The curia notified the prosecutor’s office only four years later.
The events reported by the RMF24 portal were to take place in a geriatric ward in one of the hospitals in southern Poland. The clergyman visited patients every day, including an elderly, disabled woman. In April 2017 – as RMF24 informs – the priest was supposed to be caught sexually harassing a sick woman. The hospital then notified the curia.
According to the explanations of the director of the facility, quoted by RMF24, the provision on the obligation to notify the police of such situations entered into force in the second half of 2017, i.e. after the described events.
The curia informs the prosecutor’s office
The curia dismissed the priest from the position of chaplain in several medical institutions, but did not notify the prosecutor’s office immediately. It did not happen until 2021, i.e. four years after the incident.
We asked about this situation in the press office of the Krakow curia. We received the following answer: “(…) In a situation where reliable information about abuses appears against any of the priests of the Archdiocese of Krakow, the Archdiocese of Krakow, taking into account the available knowledge and understanding of the situation, as well as the lack of prior notification to the competent authorities by the directly involved in the case, suspects the possibility of committing a crime and undertakes a canonical investigation. The Metropolitan Curia in Krakow, when necessary, cooperates without charges with law enforcement agencies, awaits the outcome of the investigation in this case. “
The prosecutor’s office – as RMF24 informs – accused the priest under article 198 of the Criminal Code (sexual abuse of insanity or helplessness). It is a crime punishable by six months to eight years in prison. The priest, according to RMF24, pleads not guilty.
“For me it is surprising …”
The case was commented on by Father Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zaleski. – Every priest is a citizen of the Republic of Poland and has the same rights and obligations. If the hospital staff reported this priest to the superior, i.e. the archbishop, he should first of all explain it, conduct an investigation, but at the same time refer it to the prosecutor’s office and the Holy See – said the priest. And he added: – For me it is surprising that the curia notified the prosecutor’s office about it only this year, i.e. it waited four years. As far as I know, this priest has been dismissed from the position of hospital chaplain and is a pastoral aid in one of the parishes, but that does not change the fact why so much time has been waited at all.
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