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The case of priest Marian W. Former altar boys want PLN 12 million in compensation from the curia

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In 2020, the trial of priest Marian W., accused of sexual abuse of minors, began. 22 boys were allegedly injured. After four years of court proceedings, the case starts all over again. At the same time, eight injured parties are demanding a total of PLN 12 million in compensation from the Tarnów curia.

Usually, Father Marian was already lying naked in the room when he called one of the altar boys gathered in the living room for a word. – Touching on the genitals, around the crotch, masturbation, and sometimes being forced to touch him dozens, hundreds of times – recalls Maciej.

All this in different parishes, because the superiors were transferring Father Marian. – There can be no such thing as a coincidence when a priest changes parishes so often and stays in these parishes for such a short time. The bishop probably knew much, much earlier about Father Marian's behavior, says Jarosław Głuchowski, the attorney for the injured. Now eight of the many other victims are demanding a total of PLN 12 million from the Tarnów curia. However, the highest-ever demand for compensation from the Church in Poland is not about money. – This childhood will not come back. When I'm in church, I feel weak, I feel like I'm going to lose consciousness, admits Maciej.

The superiors knew

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In a statement, the curia's spokesman writes about the “huge harm” and compares the situation of the victims to a house fire.

“It is difficult to hold the entire diocesan community collectively responsible for a crime committed by specific people. It is as if all residents were responsible for the damage caused by an arsonist,” the curia's position reads. – If the curia says “there is no collective responsibility”, my answer is: auction off all the bishop's property. Auction his car. And all subsequent salaries that you are to pay him should be allocated to the victims – comments Tomasz Terlikowski, publicist.

SEE ALSO: Convicted of molesting a minor, he is no longer a priest

Pedophilia in the Church. What did John Paul II know?For years, the Catholic Church has tried to hide the truth about pedophilia cases in the name of the Church's good image. Today, questions are asked not even about what the Vatican knew, but about what the Polish Pope knew. John Paul II received information about molestations.Martyna Olkowicz | Facts in the afternoon TVN24

– If we have a criminal who is an arsonist, who is the silent person who is the curia here? – Maciej asks. His superiors knew about the actions of Father Marian W. at least since 2013, but then they sent him on leave. It was only five years later, after the regulations were changed, that the case was reported to the prosecutor's office. Years later, he was thrown out of the priesthood.

– None of the faithful caused Marian W. to be in a specific parish and was then transferred to a specific parish. This decision was made by the bishop, Głuchowski emphasizes.

Marian W., as a parish priest, was looking for maturing boys from pious families in every parish. – He gave the fathers of each of the victims a job somewhere near the church. Such a child is between a rock and a hard place, says Maciej.

Mr. Maciej was only twelve years old when he fell victim to a priest. Now he is watching the criminal court reopen the Marian W. case. – The district court is conducting this case from the beginning – says Bogdan Kijak from the District Court in Nowy Sącz.

READ ALSO: Vatican on “threats” to human dignity. “Outdated theology”

Compensation for victims

– Failure to pay compensation to victims of clerical pedophilia is a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance – says priest prof. Andrzej Kobyliński, philosopher and ethicist from Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University. However, this is changing. The Supreme Court found that the superior was responsible for a member of the Society of Christ and compensation was awarded to the pedophile's victim.

– Our fight is not only the fight of us, the victims of this one man, but also a form of voice of other victims who have not yet come forward – says Maciej.

Main photo source: TVN24

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