Polish Cardinal Faces Jail Time for Ignoring Reports of Abuse
A Polish Cardinal, who was heavily linked to scandal involving the disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, now faces jail time for allegedly ignoring claims of sexual abuse. This is welcome news and we firmly believe that the only way to end the culture of sexual abuse within the church is to root out and punish those men responsible for ignoring allegations and propagating a culture of silence and deceit.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz could face up to three years in jail for his role in covering up cases of clergy abuse by failing to report allegations to police. This is an important step forward in the fight to protect children and the vulnerable from sexual abuse. In our view, one of the main reasons that clergy sexual abuse remains a rampant problem worldwide is because of the church’s playbook for handling abuse. As described by A.G. Josh Shapiro in his 2018 Grand Jury Report and reiterated by findings in royal commissions in places like Australia and Canada, the institutional Catholic Church for decades chose to minimize abuse allegations by quietly moving priests, preventing parishioners from learning about allegations, and working to keep victims quiet.
The only way to ensure that this playbook becomes a thing of the past is to punish those who choose to use it. Protecting reputations at the expense of children and the vulnerable must become a thing of the past. Punishments like the one being considered for Dziwisz are a critical tool to accomplish this goal.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], +1-517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)