Poland: Statue of priest toppled over abuse claims restored

Poland: Statue of priest toppled over abuse claims restored
Activists in Poland pull down a statue of a prominent deceased priest, Father Henryk Jankowski, who allegedly abused minors sexually, in Gdansk, Poland, on Thursday Feb. 21, 2019. The activists said it was an act of protest against the Polish Catholic Church for failing in resolving the problem of clergy sex abuse. The protest comes as Pope Francis has gathered church leaders from around the world at the Vatican to grapple with the church's sex abuse crisis. (AP Photo/Bartek Sabela/Gazeta Wyborcza)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Shipyard workers in northern Poland have put back in place the metal statue of a prominent Solidarity-era priest that protesters toppled amid allegations that he sexually abused minors.

Karol Guzikiewicz, head of a union at the Gdansk shipyard, said Saturday the statue should stay in place until the allegations against the late Mgr. Henryk Jankowski are clarified.

The monument recognized Jankowski’s staunch support for the Solidarity pro-democracy movement in the 1980s. An investigation into sex abuse allegations was discontinued in 2003, but recently others have alleged to Polish media they were abused by Jankowski as minors.

Three men were charged for pulling down the statue early Thursday.

The development came as a Vatican summit is debating ways to prevent abuse of minors by the clergy.