The late Polish pope John Paul II knew about child abuse in Poland's Catholic church years before becoming pontiff and helped cover it up, private broadcaster TVN reported Sunday. Michal Gutowski, the investigator behind the broadcast, said that Karol Wojtyla, as he then was, knew of cases of paedophile priests within the church while still a cardinal in Krakow. He transferred the priests to other dioceses — one as far away as Austria — to ensure no scandal ensued, he said. Wojtyla, who was pope for 27 years from 1978 until his death in 2005, wrote a letter of recommendation for a priest accused of abuse to Vienna cardinal Franz Koenig, without mentioning the accusations, says Gutowski. During his investigation, Gutowski says he spoke to victims of paedophile priests, their families and former church diocese employees. He cites documents from the former Communist-era SB secret police and rare church documents to which he managed to get access. But Gutowski said the Krakow diocese had refused him access to its own documentary archives. The Polish church has in the past refused to provide documents to the judiciary or a public commission of enquiry investigating cases of church abuse of minors. Similar… Read full this story
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