'Revolution' in Poland as nation confronts priestly abuse

'Revolution' in Poland as nation confronts priestly abuse
In this photo taken on May 15, 2019, Barbara Borowiecka, a survivor of alleged abuse as a minor by a prominent Solidarity-era priest gestures during an interview with The Associated Press. 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) — 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.

Poland’s bishops acknowledged this week they face a crisis and admitted they have failed to protect the young. It’s also a crisis for Poland’s conservative government, which is closely aligned with the Catholic Church, putting the ruling Law and Justice Party on the defensive before Sunday’s European Parliament vote.

Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski had earlier described discussions about clerical abuse as a “brutal attack” on the church but the revelations in the documentary “Tell No One ” have pushed the party to face up to the cleric abuse crisis.