Now Pope John Paul II is the target
Pope John Paul II knew about abuse by priests but failed to act against it as archbishop and cardinal before he became Pope, or so certain headlines say.
This claim was made by Dutch journalist Ekke Overbeek last year in preparation for her book Mea Culpa that’s due to be released this week (Mea Culpa was already the title off a documentary about abuse in the Catholic Church, these titles that are puns referencing Latin words in Catholic rituals mocked by mainstream Protestants reek of old-fashioned anti-Catholicism that seeks to weaponise child abuse by caring about and focusing on it selectively). Michal Gutowski, the investigator behind the report for anti-PiS (ruling Right-wing party in Poland) private broadcaster TVN has now repeated the claims and added to them.
Could the timing have anything to do with upcoming parliamentary elections in Poland in which the culture wars and therefore John Paul II’s legacy play a significant part?
TVN repeated the claims that John Paul II had not dealt properly with abuse by two priests, Eugeniusz Surgent and Józef Loranc, and added a third, Bolesław Saduś.
It was shown that then Cardinal Wojtyła had written a letter to the Archbishop of Vienna asking that Saduś be allowed to transfer to Vienna without mentioning anything regarding abuse. But the claims that he was an abuser and a cause of scandal because of that are based on claims in the archives of the secret service of the Communist dictatorship that ruled Poland at the time.
Besides the claims made by the Communist secret service about a leading dissident against the totalitarian regime, there was also an anonymous source claiming that the accusations against Saduś were true and that it was Cardinal Wojtyła who ordered the transfer.
A single unverifiable source who makes claims about things that allegedly happened 50 years ago is the only thing supporting Communist claims about their enemies. This man is supposedly around a 100 years old now, but his role in the Church (if any) and whether he had any first-hand knowledge or prove about abuse by Saduś cannot be confirmed. The extremely old man now retired, apparently cannot freely speak out. We have to trust the man’s honesty (whoever he is) and that of TVN.
What is there aside from an anonymous source and the Communist secret service he claims were right? Nothing. Beyond that it’s just the two previous claims that got repeated. (Oh and of course Saduś is dead as well and cannot defend himself against claims by the Communist secret service never proven in an impartial court of law).
It is now fully acknowledged that in the case Józef Loranc, Wojtyła immediately suspended him from duties and that he was later tried and arrested. The criticism is that Wojtyła allowed him to gradually be rehabilitated after his release (which used to be the norm for criminals) but without allowing him to work with children or hears confession. So what was the problem?
The claims regarding Eugeniusz Surgent got repeated. Tomasz Krzyżak and Piotr Litk had defended John Paul II in article for Rzeczpospolita and pointed out that in the case of Surgent, he actually continued his abuse in two different dioceses while John Paul II had acted correctly. Now however, another anonymous source claims to have informed John Paul II about the abuse in 1973 and John Paul II said he’d deal with it and to not talk about it. As with the other anonymous claim there appears to be no additional witness to support it.
John Paul II is dead. He had been dead for nearly 20 years at this point. The KGB had it as their rule that the dead cannot defend themselves. It seems this rule is still faithfully followed by anti-Catholic bigots.
It also seems the accusations were so weak that the Communist regime in Poland didn’t dare to ever use them against John Paul II. Nor were they brought up at any point during democratization, not even by Progressive parties. The alleged anonymous sources did not see it fit to share their stories with anyone, even as abuse scandals in Boston came to light in 2001, not even just after John Paul II died in 2005. They never sought civil redress or any compensation in any form.
The alleged victims Gutowski allegedly spoke to also never spoke out of their own initiative, only supporting claims from the Communist secret service archives now that these are being resurrected.
Poland has always had anti-clerical groups. There is no evidence that anyone was silenced or bought off. Why did it take so long to come out with this? Why did it take till Liberal anti-PiS journalists tried to attack the late anti-Communist Pope’s legacy before people remembered these horrors from 50 years ago? Conveniently remembering that claims by the Communist secret service were true is hardly convincing.
TheDailymail described the following things about ‘breaking story’:
During his investigation, Gutowski says he spoke to victims of pedophile priests, their families and former church diocese employees.
How many church employees or parents of people who were children in 1973 are still alive beyond the ones specifically mentioned in prominent outlets? Could they be verified?
He cites documents from the former Communist-era SB secret police and rare church documents to which he managed to get access.
What ‘rare church documents’ did he get access to and how? From who? Are they verifiable? Have direct falsifiable quotes been provided?
But Gutowski said the Krakow diocese had refused him access to its own documentary archives for his investigation.
Whether this claim is true or not I don’t know. But if they refused him access that isn’t as suspicious as some have suggested on twitter. He’s a journalist not an impartial investigator. Church archives has been misused and selectively used in the past, even by dissident priests. Father Hubert Wolf used the opening of wartime archives of the Vatican (which couldn’t be completed due to Covid) to claim Pope Paus XII had clear knowledge about the Holocaust when the sources show he didn’t have any information beyond the same rumours as the Allied leaders at the time.
Cardinal Pell freely responded to the 60 minutes documentary that had lying child molester David Ridsdale slander him. They lied to him what the exact context of the interview was.
If you’ve got nothing to hide then you have got nothing to fear is not an acceptable assertion in any free society.
Oh and theDailymail also noted that neo-Marxist and Church critic Thomas Doyle supported these attacks of course.
‘Thomas Doyle, an American former Catholic priest, canon law scholar, and the author of one of the first reports of Catholic clergy abuse in the United States, said Gutowski’s investigation was groundbreaking.
It showed that John Paul II knew this problem existed even before he became pope, he argued.’
Thomas Doyle I would inform readers had actually instructed bishops to give priests more intense therapy but to still reinstate them afterwards. He had worked closely with a priest who would end up dying from Aids in writing a manual calling for only slightly stricter kid-glove treatment in 1985. He was largely silent and sometimes lied about this years later. He also had no problem manipulating, using and lying about abuse victims.
He had also written a book calling for marxist Christian collaboration in overthrowing traditional hierarchy. One wonders whether he was in fact helping to abusers planted by ex-Communist Bella Dodd. Regardless, he’s not the most reliable source. Regarding hierarchical Christianity.
The normalisation of claims by the Communist secret service are quite disturbing. The KGB has been proven to have been behind my anti-Catholic smears many still repeat by Radical Progressives even after they were debunked including the infamous attacks against resistance hero Pope Pius XII.
Would claims about rabbis from the Gestapo archives be acceptable sources? What has happened to the presumption of innocence, fairness, the rules of evidence and reason itself?
 Thomas P. Doyle, A.W. Richard Sipe en Patrick J. Wall, Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church’s 2,000 Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse.
 Thomas P. Doyle, Comrades in Revolution: Christian-Marxist Dialogue.