A documentary film with testimony by victims of clerical abuse in Poland is so harrowing that it has forced an unprecedented reckoning with the problem in one of Europe’s most deeply Catholic societies. In December, Borowiecka, 62, told Polish media about being abused when she was 11 by Henryk Jankowski, a prominent prelate in Lech Walesa’s anti-communist Solidarity movement in Gdansk, where a monument of him stood. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — One victim spoke out, and then another, and another. A statue of a pedophile priest was toppled in Gdansk, put back by his supporters, and finally dismantled for good. A feature film about clerical abuse was a box office hit.
Poland thought it had started confronting the problem of clerical abuse and its cover-up by church authorities. Then a bombshell came: A documentary with victim testimony so harrowing it has forced an unprecedented reckoning with pedophile priests in one of Europe’s most deeply Catholic societies.
Is Pope Francis’ new policy to address Catholic sex abuse enough?
Around 9 a.m. local time – roughly the same time a suicide bomber killed 29 of their fellow parishioners at the evangelical Zion Church two weeks ago – worshippers streamed silently into the hall.
Survivors of the attack on Easter Sunday ambled in on crutches or with an eye patch. Some clutched bibles. Many wiped away their tears.
Inside, several hundred worshippers knelt on the tile floor with their arms lifted toward the heavens, beseeching Jesus Christ to grant salvation.
“Come to our protection in this world where we are being hit by waves,” their voices sang out in Tamil.
More than 250 people were killed and nearly 500 wounded in the attacks by Islamist militants on churches and hotels across the Indian Ocean island on April 21.
Sri Lanka has revised down the death toll from last Sunday’s wave of bombings by more than 100, to “about 253”, the health ministry says.
It blamed a calculation error and the difficulty of identifying victims.
Scores were killed and hundreds injured when suicide bombers struck hotels and churches in Colombo, Negombo and the eastern city of Batticaloa.
Most of those killed were Sri Lankan but dozens of foreigners were also among the casualties.
Nine people are suspected of carrying out the attacks. Police have continued carrying out raids and have issued photographs of seven people wanted in connection with the attacks.
British citizens have been caught in explosions at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
Police say 207 people have been killed and at least 450 injured in the blasts.
The UK’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, said: “We understand that some British citizens were caught in the blasts but we are unable to say how many people are, or might have been, affected.”
Officials in Sri Lanka say there have been at least nine foreign casualties.
They were from the UK, the USA, Netherlands and Portugal.