New documentary highlights abuse cover-up in Poland

A new Polish documentary film on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy was released Saturday through the internet. Hide and Seek, produced by brothers Marek and Tomasz Sekielski, documents not only the sexual abuse of children within the Church in Poland, but also the abuse of power by the Church hierarchy.

The film is a follow-up to the Sekielski brothers’ documentary Tell No One, which was quickly referred to in the media as the “Polish Spotlight” - referring to the 2015 Oscar-winning film documenting the Boston Globe’s 2002 investigation into clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston.

After the documentary aired, the Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech Polak - who also serves as the Delegate of Child Protection of Polish Bishops Conference - immediately announced that he had reported the case in the documentary to the Vatican’s representative in the country.

The case is the first one in Poland being processed under the rules imposed by the Motu Proprio Vos Estis Lux Mundi, a Church law promulgated by Pope Francis last year for reporting bishops accused of committing or covering up the sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults.

Commentators say it is not only a test for the Church in Poland, but also for the Vatican, since only the pope can dismiss a bishop.

The torment of abuse

Exactly a year ago, the Polish church underwent an earthquake after Tell No One was released.

The film documented that although child protection procedures has technically been in place for years in the Church in Poland, many Church authorities were still indifferent to the plight of the victims of sexual abuse.

With the release of Hide and Seek on YouTube on May 16, the Sekielski brothers turn their attention to the abuse of power in the Church.

The film tells the story of brothers Jakub and Bartek Pajkows...

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