News

Church claims Archbishop’s priestly paedophilia comments were ‘a pure slip of the tongue’

ARCHBISHOP Józef Michalik, Poland’s most senior Catholic cleric, was at the centre of a storm this week after he said children with divorced parents were sometimes more vulnerable to sexual abuse by priests

His remarks, according to this report, prompted a storm of outrage, though the Church later said it was “a pure slip of the tongue”.

Michalik’s comments strengthened the view among some younger Poles that the Church is out of touch with modern society and failing to properly confront allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

A while back Michalik, right, was pictured with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill – President of the the International Funny Hats Federation – during the signing of a joint message of reconciliation which urged Poles and Russians to set aside centuries of anger and prejudice and work together to maintain their countries’ Christian identities. (CNS photo/Kacper Pempel, Reuters)

A while back Michalik, right, was pictured with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill – who is also President of the the International Federation of Funny Hats  – during the signing of a joint message of reconciliation which urged Poles and Russians to set aside centuries of anger and prejudice and work together to maintain their countries’ Christian identities. (CNS photo/Kacper Pempel, Reuters)

In comments broadcast on Tuesday by TVN24, Michalik said child sexual abuse by priests was unacceptable, but the debate about it needed to be broadened out beyond the immediate physical or psychological wounds inflicted on the victims.

And one has to say … how many wounds are inflicted when parents divorce? We often hear that this inappropriate attitude [paedophilia], or abuse, manifests itself when a child is seeking love. It [the child] clings, it searches. It gets lost itself and then draws another person into this.

After the comments were broadcast, Polish social media networks reverberated with angry comments.

One appalled listener, who gave her name as Anna, posted on Facebook:

This is disgusting, and is soaked in a sick logic, when a victim is responsible for a crime.

Another poster on the site, who identified himself as Adam, wrote:

While reading this, we can only be happy that this ‘Polish institution’ has committed ritual suicide.

Church authorities later on Tuesday convened a news conference to try to calm the outrage. A spokesman for the episcopate said the archbishop’s comments had been a “a pure slip of the tongue” and the archbishop has been misunderstood.

Michalik himself, who was present at the news conference, apologised .

The context of my comment was as follows: A child is always innocent. But it can be hurt not only by priests but also by its own environment.

Poland is one of Europe’s most devoutly Catholic countries. The Church’s role at the centre of public life was cemented when clergymen, led by Polish-born Pope John Paul II, helped bring down Communist rule in the late 1980s.

That role is now being challenged by a generation of Poles who feel uncomfortable with the church’s traditional views on issues such as abortion, divorce and same-sex partnerships.

While the Catholic Church in countries such as Ireland and the United States has taken steps to be more assertive about uncovering child sex abuse by priests, in Poland it remains largely a taboo subject.

Abuse allegations are reported from time to time in the Polish media, but there has so far been no far-reaching public debate about the issue.

Hat tip: Ramichael

 

14 Responses to “Church claims Archbishop’s priestly paedophilia comments were ‘a pure slip of the tongue’”

  1. barriejohn says:

    He’s not the first to make such claims. The following story was covered on The Freethinker last year:

    http://www.secularnewsdaily.com/2012/09/priest-tv-host-claims-mental-decline-to-explain-his-statements-that-children-seduce-priests/

    His supporters suggested that this particular “slip of the tongue” was the result of his involvement in a car accident. However, the comment pointing out that these are precisely the kind of arguments used by paedophiles to justify their activities seems very significant to me.

  2. Matt+Westwood says:

    “… clergymen, led by Polish-born Pope John Paul II, helped bring down Communist rule in the late 1980s.”

    Solidarnosc had nothing to do with it, of course, good gracious no.

  3. Broga says:

    Why do RC parents let their kids anywhere near a priest? Why does the UK government force the rest of us to support, through our taxes, their schools? And why does the BBC allow these benighted priests air time to spread their sick message while being so determined to censure secular opinion? And how much longer can this continue?

    My answer to the above is first the subjects are too idle and intellectually lazy to protest. Second, there are people in high places who love having their egos massaged as prominent RCs and who are in the pockets of the RC hierarchy. There is a cosy little conclave all looking after each other and with their hands in our pockets.

  4. T says:

    The truth is easily revealed by a small bit of editing. children …………………………………………………………vulnerable to sexual abuse by priests.

  5. L.Long says:

    Males are incredibly ego-centric and stupid! I use the term ‘male’ not ‘men’. Just as a nude women with a smile DOES NOT mean ‘rape me’, an under-age person with their clothes off asking for sex DOES NOT give you the right to do sex with them!!! The adult is suppose to be an adult!!! So the kid is NOT to blame as they are by definition immature and limited on decision making.
    The excuses the catlicks use is mostly blame shifting and the worse part is the sheeple (or more appropriately the Zombie hoard) buys into this blaming the victim.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    Horribly OT I’m afraid, but I just cam across the following and found it to be not only true and invigorating, but also inspiring. Sorry if it is already familiar to everyone else here.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1381526_335902176555005_260547634_n.png

  7. 1859 says:

    What do they look like! Dressed up to look like demi-gods….Self-important cock-suckers!

  8. sailor1031 says:

    How can we expect priests not to be tempted, and to yield, when faced with the overtures of horny, insatiable little catholic kids begging, pleading, whining for sex? Priests are just not trained how to deal with this aspect of ministry. No wonder they are seduced.

    The answer can only be to make laws that prohibit children from going to church or having anything whatsoever to do with priests. This is the only way to protect our wonderful priests from this evil.

  9. Trevor Blake says:

    “I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved. I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”

    Just a few verses from chapter five of the pornographic story of incest and child sex known far and wide as the Song of Solomon, found in every Bible. Perhaps this is what Archbishop Michalik was making a reference to in his comments. No? Just normal child rape by clergy? Okay.

  10. barriejohn says:

    “We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?”

    I have mentioned before the embarrassment that these verses cause the godly, and my amusement when some youngster would ask: “Why didn’t Uncle Gerald read out verse eight this morning?”. It’s difficult to understand why some books were included in the “Canon of Scripture”!

  11. JohnMWhite says:

    While I don’t believe the backtracking bullshit for a second, even if we are to be incredibly generous and grant that the Acrhbishop really did just mean that it is not only priests but all sorts of things (including divorce) that can harm a child… What does that comment have to do with anything? Wasps and asthma and falling plane engines and trains and other children and angry budgies can all hurt children. They were not the subject of conversation: predatory priests and their enablers were. To point out that priests aren’t the only ones who sometimes harm children in some way is an entirely useless statement.

    So how many wounds are inflicted when parents divorce? I daresay not nearly as many as when a child is raped or molested and told to shut up about it on pain of eternal hellfire. Divorce can be a trauma to some children, yes, but it has nothing to do with the fact that sexual abuse is a very bad thing and making excuses for it is just as bad. The Catholic hierarchy seems to be steadfastly refusing to understand this. They display nothing but contempt for their victims, and seem almost eager to retraumatise them all over again by diminishing their pain or blaming the victim.

    Whenever I see these kind of remarks, I always wonder where all the ‘good’ Catholics are to slap them down and chastise them and insist that this attitude is not one they share. I feel for the children of Catholic parents, as the Catholic Church fosters a mentality that holds the reputation of the church and the perceived loyalty of parishioners as far more important than the comfort and safety of one’s own children.

  12. […] Church claims Archbishop’s priestly paedophilia comments were ‘a pure slip of the tongue… (freethinker.co.uk) […]