Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, the president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, appealed for protection of the “common good” and the legacy of Pope John Paul II in the wake of abuse allegations against the pope.
Recently, liberal-left media launched another attack on St. John Paul II, with the pope being accused of allegedly covering up cases of sexual abuse of minors in the Church, both as a Holy Father and as the metropolitan Bishop of Kraków. In addition, he is accused of being lenient toward “pedophiles in cassocks.” The accusations were made in a report broadcasted on liberal news channel TVN 24.
Poland’s parliament has adopted a resolution to condemn a “disgraceful media smear campaign against St. John Paul II,” and called the late pope “the greatest Pole in history.”
“I call on all people of goodwill not to destroy the common good, and undoubtedly the legacy of John Paul II belongs to it. Poles should remember the blessing that Providence gave us through this Pope,” wrote Gądecki.
Archbishop Gądecki emphasized that St. John Paul II was one of the most outstanding popes and greatest Poles.
“The Polish Pope was and remains a moral point of reference, a teacher of faith, and also an advocate in heaven for millions of Poles,” he noted. “In this light, attempts to discredit his person and work, undertaken under the pretext of concern for truth and good, are shocking.”
The archbishop wrote that “the authors of these discrediting voices have taken a biased and often an ahistorical approach to the evaluation of Karol Wojtyła, without knowledge or context,” uncritically accepting documents created by the communist security services as reliable sources. He added that authors of the television report did not take into account existing reports and studies that depict the Polish pope in a fair light.
Archbishop Gądecki emphasized that starting from the decision of John Paul II, the Church has made a determined effort to create structures and develop clear procedures to ensure the safety of children and young people, properly punish those guilty of sexual crimes, and above all, support those who have been harmed.
He added that defending the sanctity and greatness of John Paul II does not mean claiming that he could not make mistakes.
“Being a shepherd of the Church in times of Europe’s division between the West and the Soviet bloc meant facing difficult challenges. It is also necessary to be aware that at that time, not only in Poland, different laws than today were in force, and social awareness and customary ways of solving problems were different,” he said.